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Full text of "Walter Graham, statesman. An American romance"

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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 



RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 







^^•^;S#^ J3#Si;7>'' r 






wn MFR r.n\ f jection 



Walter Graham, 



STATESMAN. 



AN AMERICAN ROMANCE. 



An American, 

IV/io, notwithstanding our inordinate desire for political 

preferment, our insatiable greed for wealth, and the 

mighty upheavings of corruption and perfidy 

zi'hich occasionally astound us, still 

believes in America. 



FUIvTON PUBLISHING COMPANY, 

LANCASTER, PA. 
189I. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the j-ear 1891, by the 

Fulton Publishing Company. 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



TO THE 

i'OrXG PEOPLE OF MY COUNTRY, 

Who are anxioics to know something of the true in-iuardness of the 

historic period through which their parents have lived ; and -who 

are willing to examine, to some extent, the details of the great 

political system which makes up our governtnent ; — as well 

as to all those who will study facts only when they are 

labeled fiction ^J.his book is respectfully inscribed by 

The Author. 



603301 



Digitized by the Internet Arcliive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

University of Nortli Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/waltergrahamstatOOwhit 



PREFACE. 



Begin. Quit explaining, and begin. 



Contents 



I. Born of Good Blood, i 

II. First Political Impressions, 15 

III. First Political Aspirations, 32 

IV. Some Slight Back-sets, 51 

V. A Deep-laid Scheme 73 

VI. Ho ! For Mansdale 91 

VII. Shocktown's Last R.\lly, 97 

VIII. The Gathering Storm, 113 

IX. The Morton Family, 133 

X. The Bursted Storm, 156 

XL Mrs. Graham Resigned, 171 

XII. Shocktown in Mourning, 188 

XIII. The Interregnum 203 

XIV. Peace Seasoned with a Little War, . . . 226 
XV. Anxiety Resumes Her Reign 237 

XVI. A Little Gloom at Mansdale, 253 

XVII. Some Old Acquaintances 278 

XVIII. Something Drops 306 

XIX. Retrospect 330 

XX. Waiting for Clients 356 

XXI. Practical vs. Sentimental Politics 381 

XXII. The Result, 400 

XXIII. Another Result 422 

XXIV. DAKifNEss and Light 433 

XXV. The First Reunion, •■.... 450 

XXVI. Gettysburg or Cold Harbor 458 

XXVII. Surveying the Field 470 

XXVIII. Cultivating the Field, 489 

XXIX. Gathering the Crop '. 509 

XXX. The Aftermath 534 

XXXI. The Second Reunion, 544 

XXXII. The Second Certified Check, 567 

XXXIII. The Last Reunion, 579 



WALTER GRAHAM, Statesman. 



CHAPTER I. 

BORIV OF GOOD BLOOD- A PERFECT BABY-A PERFECT 
PATRIOT. 

MOST people of the Caucasian race are aware of 
the fact that there is a portion of this earth called 
America ; that a certain portion of that is called the 
United States. It is rather an extensive patch of ter- 
ritory, it is true, to designate as the place where any 
person was born ; but I am sure the imagination 
can be safely relied on to lead us to the particular spot 
where the eyes of Walter Graham first saw the light. 
I am further convirced that most people who shall read 
these pages are aware of the fact that the government 
of the United States is a republic ; that its rulers are 
elected by the people ; that it has a written constitu- 
tion, which expressl}' declares that " no title of nobility 
shall be granted by the United States," and that its 
Congress shall pass " no Bill of Attainder." Every 
man is a kind of a king unto himself, and these sixty- 
five millions of kings who inhabit the country are, as 
they fondly believe, marking out a new destiny for 
man ; and, as the monarchies of the Old World say, 
experimenting on the principles of self-government. 
The Americans themselves, at the end of one hun- 
I 



2 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

dred years, I believe, are pretty well satisfied with their 
experiment. A few conscientious people among them 
are somewhat alarmed, however, at the methods which 
prevail among the average politicians. 

England, the most liberal of all the European mon- 
archies, will admit (perhaps grudgingly, it is true,) that 
the growth and prosperity of her rebellious child has 
been marvelous, and solaces herself b}- reminding us 
that whatever good has come out of us is due to the 
fact that we are the child of her loins. That the great 
system of jurisprudence, which she had impressed upon 
her colonies before she very ungraciously allowed them 
to set up housekeeping on their own account, is the 
germ of all their greatness. That it is her great civili- 
zation that is rapidly gathering in the four corners of 
the earth, and her langauge that is promising fair to 
become the universal tongue of mankind. 

America certainly has been admonished all the while 
from two sources — the one within, the other without 
her borders — to be aware of the canker monster of 
corruption, the onl)^ disease from which republics die. 
She has heard a great deal about a certain other great 
empire that lived and flourished some i,8oo years ago, 
that expired of this ailment. Notwithstanding all these 
warnings, I believe there is an uncommon feeling of 
security and safety pervading the American mind in 
this year of her independence, the one hundred and fif- 
teenth. Unless I am greatly deceived a large portion 
of these admonishers are .so many theorists and alarm- 
ists, who are frightened out of their senses from a 
chronic habit of looking on the dark side of everything, 
or from a secret jealous\' of republican institutions 
which they endeavor to conceal. To argue who is 



BORN OF GOOD BLOOD. 3 

right and who is wrong in this controversy, who is 
wise and who is foohsh, who is unduly alarmed and 
who is sleeping while his house is being consumed by 
the flames, would be perfectlj' futile. But that each side 
may judge for itself, I have thought it better to present, 
as well as I can, the typical American statesman from his 
cradle up to the time when he comes within hailing 
distance of the White House. Not merely his ordinary 
political biography, as we read it of every statesman in 
newspapers and magazines, but to take the world into all 
the little secrets and struggles with conscience which 
lie in the path of every man's ambition. 

It is, therefore, that Walter Graham shall have his 
existence through a period, the most momentous in 
the existence of the nation. For an existence Walter 
Graham certainly had. It began on April 23, 1843. 
If you have any doubts about it ask old Aunt Nancy 
Stoner, who still lives, hale and hearty under her nine 
and seventy years, in the thriving little village of Shock- 
town. She was there and she knows. It was on Sun- 
day morning at that. If you don't believe her, consult 
the note book of little old Dr. Cain, who was buried 
last summer. If you want further proof, turn your 
hundred year almanac back to the 23d of April, 1843, 
and see if it does not fall on Sunday. Yes, and a 
lovely Sunday morning it was. It was not more than 
a mile from where the little village of Shocktown now 
stands. And Shocktowm you have already properly 
located in your mind as in the township of Adams, in 

the county of Jefferson, in the State of L- ; 

that is, some one of the States east of the Mississippi 
river ; perhaps it was north of Ma.son and Dixon's 
lyine, or of the Ohio River. You can't certainly be 



4 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

wrong in saying it was somewhere within fifty or one 
hundred miles of some of the great cities of the North 
— Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Albany, Buifalo, 
Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland or Indianap- 
olis. The fact of the matter is, it is not at all material 
for our purposes. Suihce it to say, it was somewhere 
within the dimensions, and under all the influences of 
our fierce democrac}'. 

The lovely April sun rose that morning upon the 
swelling buds and the first blades of green grass that 
were jumping up through the winter covering in the 
3'ard which surrounded the old farm house in which 
Jacob Graham now lived as a tenant farmer. It was 
within that same house that the nurse and little Dr. 
Cain, whose step was then light and agile, laid at the 
breast of Martha Graham her first-born child. "What 
do you want, Mrs. Graham.''" asked the little doctor, 
with a quick, kind voice, half professional and half 
jocose, " a bo}- or a girl ?" With a thoughtfulness of 
expression, which he had not often seen even on a 
mother's face (used as he was to such experiences), he 
heard the answer in anxiety, "Oh, a perfect boy baby." 
He was quick to answer cheerfully," Well, that's what 
you have got, as perfect a young son as ever sniffed 
the morning air, not a mark or a blemish on him." 

Mrs. Graham, with a feeling of thankfulness she 
did not endeavor to express further than by the simple 
utterance, "Thank God," turned on her pillow, feeling 
how greatl}' she had been blessed ; for, after her first 
paramoant concern, she admitted to herself, "how she 
always, just a little, preferred it might be a boy, on 
Jacob's account." And how Jacob, when he was 
informed, while waiting in the room below, that he was 



BORN OF" GOOD BLOOD. 

the father of such a prominent aspirant for the highest 
honors of his country, declared that "he himself was 
perfectly content, but he often just thought, on Mar- 
tha's account, how nice it would have been for their 
first little one to have been a girl." 

What he was saying he believed to be the truth. 
How near it actually was we may never know. One 
thing however is certain, on the whole he was very 
happy ; too happy to go to church that day. And he 
and Martha had thoroughly agreed for some time on 
one point, that if it should be a boy it's name was to 
be Walter. That was Mrs. Graham's maiden name. 
Her father had died rather suddenly only a short time 
before her marriage and left no male issue. Jacob 
thought, under the circumstances, that it was only true 
chivalry to his wife to name him after his late grand- 
father in full. 

Mrs. Graham did not object to this gallantry, but 
thought it would emphasize the idea almost more 
distinctly to simply call him Walter Graham. Jacob, 
upon reflection, thought so too ; and, besides, he 
rather liked the name; he said, "It just made a nice 
mouthful." So he was boldly recorded in the family 
Bible, in the first half-hour of his existence, as Walter 
Graham. 

This first half-hour of Walter's life, (and perhaps the 
most intensely exciting period of every person's life), 
being safelj^ over, he was now ready to pass on to his 
destiny. And why should he not pass on to it with all 
the strength and vigor of mind and body, naturally to 
be expected from " as perfect a baby as ever sniffed 
the morning air?" For to this condition of good 
health was added the condition of "good blood." 



6 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

The fact of the matter was, it was a little "bluer" 
than some of his more wealthy relations might have 
thought it necessary to tell the world ; that is, that it 
was a little bluer than their own ; but the fact was all 
the same, and was quite as gallant. To establish this 
Walter's parents did not have to trace their ancestry, 
as did Mark Twain, " back to the tomb of Adam." 

I>ut his father, Jacob Graham, knew too well that 
his great-grandfather had been among the early Dutch 
.settlers, who had preferred freedom in the wilderness 
of a new world rather than abide the restrictions of 
the old. That he had helped to lay the foundation of 
the great metropolis of the great Empire State. He 
knew pretty fully the legendary history of his family 
that gave him to understand that his still remoter 
ancestors of the sixteenth century had suffered the 
untold miseries of the Hollander at the hands of the 
Spanish Inquisition. He had read the history of the 
United Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, with an 
over-weening admiration of the part he felt some of 
his forefathers must have borne in the great struggle. 
To him the words Saxon and Norman sank into insig- 
nificance when compared to the words Dutch and 
Huguenot. He did not stop to scrutinize very care- 
fully how nearly these several little streams flowed 
into one, sufficient to him that the latter two he recog- 
nized as the true blood that really brought the all-in- 
spiring germ of liberty to America. There had hung 
in his father's house, as long as he could remember, 
and there was now hanging in his home, and should 
hang as long as his son could remember, a portrait of 
William the Silent side by side with Martin L,uther's. 
On the stand underneath the two lay a little volume, 



BORN OF GOOD BLOOD. i 

(the family biography), which told how his grand- 
father had marched barefoot over frozen ground with 
Washington at Valley Forge, and had fallen from a 
sabre wound at Brandywine, and all this that these 
States might be founded on the rocks of freedom. 
Yes, that this government might be an exemplification 
of pure democrac3\ For in politics Jacob Graham was 
a Democrat. The word had a high-sounding signifi- 
cance to him. Thomas Jefferson, his ideal statesman, 
the giant in intellectual power among all his contempo- 
raries, the very quintessence and exemplification of 
the Democratic idea, of the capacity of man for self- 
government, had been the founder of that party ; and 
wh)' should not he and his fathers before him naturally 
have belonged to it ? Could it be possible that the 
great author of the Declaration of Independence had 
been wrong in his judgment? To doubt would be 
blasphemy. True, Jefferson had consented to own a 
few slaves, but that was only one of the accidental 
afiairs pertaining to the frailt}^ of man. Besides, had 
he not told his countrymen in pathetic words that he 
" trembled for his country when he reflected that God 
was just ; and that his mercy would not last for ever." 
Had he not told them in words of prophec}' ' ' that 
nothing was more clearly written in the book of fate 
than that these people were to be free?" Brimful of 
these ideas, and under these influences, was it any 
wonder that Walter Graham should be born a perfect 
patriot, as well as a perfect baby ? 

But this was only half the story. In fact, the larger 
of the influences surrounding Walter Graham has yet 
to be told, if what we have frequently been taught is 
true, — that mothers make more surely than their 



o WALTER GRAHAM, STATE.SMAN. 

fathers the first and last impressions on their sons. 
Mrs. Graham certainlj^ did hold up her side of the 
family pedigree and influence exceedingly well. She 
was of Scotch-Irish extraction on her father's side. 
He had frequently told her how the noble heroes of 
Londonderry had withstood famine and privation for 
the sake of religious liberty. How they had fought at 
the battle of Boyne, and how they had driven old King 
Jim II from the throne of P^ngland. It was astonish- 
ing indeed, .she said, when you examined it, how many 
of our Presidents had come from that Scotch- Irish 
blood. What a wondeful man John Calvin was, her 
father had often told her. True, he never told her very 
mucli about his having put Servetus to death on 
account of his opinions ; but that, too, was only one of 
the accidental affairs pertaining to the frailty of man. 
And, besides, had not his followers suffered enough to 
atone for that in the days when Jeffries had declared 
from the bench "that he could smell a Presbyterian 
forty miles?" Mrs. Graham's maternal ancestry had 
been pure Anglo-Saxon, pure Pilgrim, pure New Eng- 
lander, intermarried only one generation back it was 
true, to a half-bred Pennsylvania Quaker, a people of 
whom her mother had frequently .said it, had put as 
much good leaven into the conglomerate American loaf 
as any that was in it. In fact, .she remembered distinctly 
her maternal grandmother telling her once, when .she 
was there on a visit, as she rode home with her from 
quarterl}' meeting, "' the true spirit of religious liberty 
did not come to this country with the Pilgrims in the 
Mayflower, but with William Penn on the ship Wel- 
come." A statement in which, if the truth must be 



BORN OF GOOD BLOOD. 9 

told, her maternal grandmother was not so very far 
wrong. 

And yet, with all these advantages of hereditary 
descent and soul-inspiring influences which surrounded 
Walter Graham, I cannot say, w'ith a strict regard for 
truth, that up to the age of eight he never did a 
naught}' thing. I believe, however, with the same 
high regard for the truth, that he never told his parents 
a deliberate lie. In saying this it must not be under- 
stood that I am claiming the same high merit for him 
that belonged to the Father of his Country, foi the 
simple reason that Walter had never cut down his 
father's cherry tree. Therefore, I cannot predict what 
he might have done under the circumstances. I only 
can tell what he did do. That at the age of seven he 
had run off one day at noon with the other boj^s at school, 
against his parents' orders, to skate on the pond which 
they did not consider safe. That he broke in, fortu- 
nately at a shallow place, where the water only came 
about half-way up to his waist ; and when safely out, 
although alarmed at the thought of what had hap- 
pened, he reasoned naturall}^ as a great manj^ older 
persons do on such occasions, that it was not necessary 
to tell a lie, because it was not necessary^ to tell the 
truth. In all human probability his parents would 
never hear tell of it ; especiall}- it he cautioned the 
other boys not to mention it. And wh}- should he him- 
self be the first to break the intelligence to them ? Thus 
satisfied with his conclusions he proceeded deliberately 
to a neighboring barn, took off his boots and stockings, 
his pants and drawers, wrung the water out of the dry 
goods, poured the water out of his boots, washed his 
feet at the watering trough, replaced his clothing, all 



10 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

but the stockings, which would not admit of the boots 
going on in their present condition, put his boots on 
his stockingless feet, put his stockings in his coat pock- 
ets, and marched back in time for books to the old stone 
school-house. All this, he labored hard all afternoon 
to persuade himself, was no wicked deception ; and 
some day later, or when the ice got a little thicker, his 
parents would certainly not object to his going with 
the other boys to skate. 

All this might have worked ver}^ well if it had not 
happened, just as the contrary elements alwa3's will 
have it happen, that his mother had to say that eve- 
ning, as they sat by the fireside, " Walter, you know 
this is the evening you are to grease your boots ; your 
father says that is always to be done every week. You 
had better get the oil-can here by the kitchen fire-place 
and commence before it gets too late." 

Walter felt a sudden feeling of uneasiness, which he 
would gladly have greased boots all night to have been 
relieved of, as he answered, "Oh, mother, I can easy 
get up in the morning and do it before breakfast ; I am 
kind of tired to-night." "No, no," replied the mother, 
" I don't want any squatting around the fire here in 
the morning while I get breakfast ; besides, don't we 
all know what a job it is to get you up in the morning 
in time to eat breakfast, let alone to do any work be- 
fore it." 

Seized with a painful consciousness that a great crisis 
was approaching, Walter turned around, without fur- 
ther remonstrance, to a chair to draw off his boots. 
This he did with considerable more exertion than usual, 
to which the conspiring elements attracted his mother's 
attention. As he tugged away for a considerable time. 



BORN OF GOOD BI,OOD. 11 

with the toe of one boot under the rung of the chair 
and the toe of the other boot at its heel endeavoring to 
extricate his foot therefrom, his mother remarked, 
" What's the matter with your boots to-night that they 
are so hard to come off? I thought we got those boots 
full}^ large enough for j'OU, Walter." Walter, w'ith 
another spasmodic effort, exhumed the bare foot from 
the boot, which new^ circumstance caught his mother's 
e5'e before he could sufficiently collect himself to make 
any reply, and she proceeded in the same breath, 
" Where are your stockings ; are you not wearing any 
stockings, Walter?" 

Seeing that all further dissembling was useless, and 
feeling the heavy knocks of something inside his very 
ribs, which said " it is time to unload or go down to a 
liar's infamy," he grew almost instantly as strong and 
decided in his course as he had been the moment before 
weak and irresolute. ' ' Mother, ' ' he said, wath shame 
and in tears, ' ' My stockings are in my pockets ; they 
are all wet. I broke through the ice to-day, up to 
here," indicating the place with his fingers. " I went 
down to the dam against 3'our orders and papa's. 
Jack Matson and all the other boys persuaded me ; 
they all said what a nice time we would have, and 
I did not like to stay back with nothing but the little 
bits of girls ; but I know I did wrong ; I know that is 
no excuse." 

" Walter Graham," said his mother, looking at him 
with a tender steadfastness which he found he with- 
stood better than he expected, "What do you really 
think I ought to do with j'ou ?" Walter, bursting out 
into sobs, rushed into his mother's arms, clasped her 
fondl}' around the neck, exclaimed, '' Whip me, mother; 



12 WALTER GRAHAI^r, STATESMAN. 

whip me ; that is what I deserve ; just so you dou't 
do it before the other children." Mrs. Graham, sink- 
ing down on the chair that stood by her, bent her 
seven-year old son across her knee and gave him two 
spanks. Her hand was raised to strike the third, but it 
fell, as if palsied, from her shoulder and came down 
instead in the form of a gentle caress upon his head. 
" Walter," said his mother, " are you really sorry that 
you have deceived your father and mother in this 
way ?" " Yes, I am," exclaimed Walter ; " you have 
not whipped me half as much as I deserve, mother." 
"Yes, I think I have," said Mrs. Graham, raising her 
bo}' to his feet and looking at him with that Christ-like 
countenance of forgiveness which onl}' the pure mother 
can have on such occasions. " I feel, Walter, you are 
fully conscious of the offense you have committed 
against your parents, and trust you will fully appreci- 
ate what it is to have some force of character of your 
own ; as you go through life you must learn to utter 
that little word, no. I have sometimes thought, indeed, 
Walter, that your trusting nature might suffer more 
from that than anything else as you go through life. 
And yet, I cannot say that I would change it if I could. 
It may be the source of a great deal of comfort to you 
many times, no doubt, if you only learn how to prop- 
erly guard against the guile of this world. I can only 
say at present you now have ni}- full forgiveness, and 
I know that you will have father's after I explain it to 
him when he comes home from the store." 

Walter kissed his mother with an admiration and 
affection for her that it is doubtful if he ever felt before. 
It is useless to tell how much happier he felt than he 
had felt all afternoon and evening before. How he 



BORN OF GOOD BLOOD. 13 

greased his boots cheerfulh* and kissed his mother 
good-night so happily, and lay down on his pillow 
so truly pra5'^erful ; more so, perhaps, than he had 
ever done since his mother had taught him to lisp the 
words, ' ' Now I lay me down to sleep. " ' How his 
mother came to kiss him a final good-night as she 
tucked his little sisters and baby brother away in their 
trundle beds in the adjoining room. How she even 
told him that it was not the intention of his parents to 
deprive him of the pleasure of skating all winter, or of 
any other proper sport the other boys engaged in. It 
was only because at present they thought the ice was 
not strong enough, and how^ she hoped he would take 
no cold from his ducking. As for Mrs. Graham's anx- 
ieties on the score of health, we maj' dismiss them by 
saying they were groundless. The wholesome blood 
that was coursing through the veins of "as perfect a 
baby as ever sniffed the morning air, ' ' made light sport 
of the doctor's rules, for he arose the next morning in 
good spirits and certainly never in better health. But 
he had meditated long and deep about how an honest 
statement was better than a lie ; and why it was he had 
not the courage to act upon the example of the very 
good boy George Washington, of whom his school 
reader had told so much and who afterwards became 
so famous. He did not stop to inquire whether the 
illustrious George had really been anj^ better than him- 
self, and if the world-renowned truthful answer had 
come from those young lips like his own, simply be- 
cause he was cornered and that to evade was useless. 
Whether the question had not been put without an 
alternative, simply, "George did you cut that tree 
down?" and that little monosylable j'^.y or no alone 



14 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

could answer the question. No, it was not Walter 
Graham that went thus far into the mysteries of brain 
and consciousness. No, that skepticism is left for me 
of older years ; and while we may sometimes doubt the 
literal translations of many a story that portrays our 
great men as being entirely different from ordinary 
beings, I doubt if it would be wise, even if w^e could, 
to destroy the truth, or mar the grandeur that sur- 
rounds that little hatchet, when I think of the solace 
and comfort it was to Walter Graham that night, to 
whose trusting nature there were no doubts. 



'■WW 



CHAPTER II. 

RECEIl'F.S HfS FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 

THE spring of 1851 brought around with it the 
completion of Walter's eighth year and some 
change in his condition and that of his parents. 

Jacob Graham, after some years of hard work and 
economy, not to say good management, had taken the 
thousand dollars he had laid by and bought a farm of 
his own. It was about three-fourths of a mile nearer 
Shocktown, which still consisted of seven dwelling 
houses, a store, a blacksmith shop, wheelwright shop, 
a hotel, and one other small building, which was the 
seat of three distinct industries, to wit : a shoemaker 
shop, a candy store, and an oyster saloon, all under 
the same roof. 

Notwithstanding the rather stolid condition of this 
hamlet for the last dozen years, Jacob Graham and the 
friends who had urged him into making the venture of 
investing in this old farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres, with its old tumble-down buildings, thought 
their pensive vision saw a very different village, not to 
say town, in the near future. And who shall say that 
the level-headed Jacob Graham based those hopes on a 
mere phantom ? For the whistle of the locomotive 
was heard within the precincts of Shocktown, The 
power and potency of that agent of civilization and 
materialization had never been doubted by the saga- 
cious, since the day the dreams of a certain other very 
enthusiastic American boy had been so far realized as 



16 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to make his somewhat crude craft move slowly up the 
Hudsou. Walter Graham's parents had had the 
ocular demonstration of what new life and energy it 
had put into the thriving little borough of Mansdale, 
about five miles to the northeast, from which point 
this new road was to be a branch from the trunk line. 
It was to go through a rich and fertile county one 
hundred miles to the south-southwest to the very 

considerable city of , which had a population 

of a hundred thousand people. It might well lay 
claim to being some day recognized as the trunk itself 
and the old road the branch. 

Why then should the}^ doubt the new activity which 
the vibrations of that steam valve would give to Shock- 
town ? Had not Joseph Bernard, a very shrewd man, 
already bought three acres of ground right adjoining 
the lower end of his new farm, where he intended to 
have a station erected, a warehouse, a coal yard, a 
lumber yard, etc. ? True, it was only the construction 
train as yet, that aroused these sleepy villagers from 
their slumbers, but still it was a locomotive. It was 
not verj' consequential-looking, to be sure, when com- 
pared with one of our great modern modocs with 
its eight drivers rolling at the rate of ten miles an 
hour up the side of the Alleghenies with measured 
puff and pulse beats, pulling its fifty loaded cars of 
freight, looking more like a huge living object than 
the work of man. But being reminded b}- reason and 
science that this majestic power really was conceived 
and set in motion by the brain of man, the only being 
fashioned in the image of his Creator, I am rather 
disposed, even now, to stand and uncover as it passes 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 17 

by. I, at least, have a high respect for the species of 
the animal kingdom to which I belong. 

The same feeling of admiration and awe which 
seizes one of older 3^ears in contemplating the present 
condition of our great trunk railroads, overcame Wal- 
ter Graham and all the other children who attended 
the Shocktown school, as they watched that primitive 
little engine, with its three little flat cars, pulling and 
puffing, and sweltering and tugging, and slipping and 
stalling, as it plied back and forth past their school- 
house door on its mission of construction. One other 
fact about this wonderful piece of machinery that im- 
pressed Walter's mind considerably was, that its name 
was "Andrew Jackson," and he sometimes heard men 
and the older boys call it '"Old Hickor}-." 

Accordingly, it came to pass that one evening after 
he returned from school he inquired of his parents why 
this was. His father explained to him that Andrew 
Jackson had been President of the United States, that 
he had been a great general in a war with old England, 
that he was a man of great firmness, and courage, and 
will ; and that the people called him ' 'Old Hickory ' ' 
because he was so tough, and the term described him 
so well. 

Walter had some conception of what President of 
the United States meant ; but I cannot say that he 
comprehended thoroughly all that was implied in the 
answer to his question. But, nevertheless, he had 
received as a total from the explanation a vague im- 
pression that his father had a very exalted opinion of 
Andrew Jackson, and that he belonged to the same 
school of political faith that he did ; and somehow he 



18 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

was not quite sure that his mother held him in the 
same high estimation. 

As the month of June drew to a close, the spring term 
at the old school-house closed too. Walter, though 
having to work pretty hard for a boy of his years, dur- 
ing the summer months, among the stumps and stones, 
the colts and cows, the corn and cabbage, enjoyed him- 
self remarkably well at his new home. There seemed 
to be more life going on, he was closer to the village, 
had more associates of his own years, and he looked 
forward with eagerness to the time when the winter 
term would open. 

In the fullness of time the winter term opened, and 
Walter opened with it the first pages of the elementary 
geograph}^ which he studied that winter. As he 
looked at the bright colors on the map, which por- 
trayed to his mind the different States of the Union, he 
was greatly interested and would pick out the one in 
which he lived, admire it intensely, and learned its 
capital first. Before spring he had learned the names 
of them all. 

Mr. Flora, the teacher, was not the proverbial old 
teacher of such brutal instincts so frequently described 
to us, but on the other hand was a man of natural kind- 
ness of heart. Not so wonderfully learned, it is true, 
but a man of considerable public spirit and somewhat 
inclined to politics. He therefore uncon.sciously im- 
pressed upon his primary geopraphy class the import- 
ance of the country in which we live, and of knowing 
something about the elementary principles of our gov- 
ernment. They were told that the present President of 
the United States was Millard Fillmore, of New York, 
and that next fall we would elect a new president. 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 19 

Walter as he listened to this startling intelligence 
that winter day of 1852, inquired of the teacher who 
was going to be the next president. 

Mr. Flora replied he could not answer that. 

Walter, still absorbed with the great thought in his 
mind said, "Can anybody be President, just any 
common man that wants to be ?" 

"Yes," replied Mr. Flora," that is, any common 
citizen can be President if the people elect him, and 
he is smart enough to get there. ' ' Further inquiries 
upon the subject were postponed, b}^ Walter hearing 
one of the large boys behind him say in a loud whisper: 
" lyisten to Walt. Graham ; I guess he thinks he is 
going to be President some day." Born as Walter 
Graham was, of such patriotic and aspiring blood, 
as has been already described, I can tiuly say that 
on this occasion he was not thinking of any exalted 
position for himself. But he was wondering what 
kind of a man it required to make a President of the 
United States ; whether they were only ordinar}' beings 
like the rest of us, or whether they did possess some 
superhuman power. Kings and queens he had heard 
of, but to his mind they filled a very small space in this 
terrestrial sphere compared with a President of the 
United States. He was not one of those Americans 
who are sometimes accused of underrating the import- 
ance of their own country. 

Naturally, as the summer of 1852 came on, Walter 
watched rather closely the process of electing a presi- 
dent of the United States. He came to understand in 
due time that there were two men to be hurrahed for ; 
that their names were Pierce and Gen. Scott. He 
understood now there were two parties, one called the 



20 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Democratic," and the other the "Whig;" also that 
his father belonged to the former, which meant that he 
should hurrah for Pierce. 

One thing that annoyed him somewhat in the cam- 
paign was that Tom Swave, the storekeeper's son, a boy 
about two months older than himself, his favorite as- 
sociate and classmate at school, hurrahed for Gen, 
Scott. Walter was far too loyal to his parents to dis- 
regard their dictates, to say nothing of those of his own 
conscience. But he did regret considerably, that he and 
Tom had to part roads on this question. Some little 
comfort however was derived from the thought that so 
far as his observation extended, (and he had looked 
around the neighborhood pretty thoroughly), Tom's 
side was slightly in the minority. In addition to 
that, Tom was such a discreet kind of a boy ; he never 
said much about politics or any other subject when he 
did not .see his way clearly out. 

As election da}- approached and the family were 
gathered around the fire one evening, Walter's mother 
reading the paper, a conversation took place between 
his parents which impres.sed him considerably. 

"Jacob," said Mrs. Graham, laying down her paper, 
" have you been noticing how the papers continue to 
give accounts of disturbances and troubles in the North 
about this new law in reference to the return of slaves 
to their masters ? ' ' 

"Oh yes, I noticed something of the kind" replied 
Jacob, "the people have not rightly came to under- 
stand the law or give their full support as yet." 

" Well, how do you mean the people don't rightly 
understand ?" queried Mrs. Graham. " I suppose they 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 21 

understand it requires them to help catch these slaves 
and return them to their masters ? " 

Jacob Graham paused for a moment and for reply 
said, " Why, I mean these people don't consider that it 
is merely a further extension, or carrying out of the 
provisions of the constitution itself, which provides for 
the people of the slave states having the right, or that 
they were not to be deprived of the right to reclaim per- 
sons who have escaped from service or labor from one 
State into another." 

' ' Well, I am only a woman and do not understand 
such things, but it .seems to me it does not look consis- 
tent. I always thought this country was called a great 
land of freedom. I don't wonder that people are a little 
indifferent about obeying it ; and then another thing, I 
notice some of the papers and people talk as if the Dem- 
ocratic party was responsible for it." 

" Well, I know," replied Jacob, "but you see, mother, 
we can not take it on ourselves to decide on the right- 
fulness of every law that is passed ; and, as regards the 
Democrats being responsible for it, I don't see how they 
can make that charge. Did not Webster and other 
leading Whigs support the bill. I am just as much in 
favor of freedom as anybody else, and will do as much 
for a colored man to protect him in his rights ; but, I 
don't know as I am bound to set myself up in opposi- 
tion to the government itself. You must not get as 
bad as Mr. Williamson ; he declares openly that he 
never has obeyed the law and never expects to. I 
would not sa}^ that, even if I did not expect to .squirm 
around it." 

Mrs. Graham said, " Well, I don't know but what I 
z£'<7?//a? squirm around it. In fact, I do not know but 



22 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

what Mr. Williamson is about half right. Now, Jacob, 
just take it to yourself. Suppose it should leak out 
some day that this old colored man and his family 
down here in the hollow had been slaves, and you 
should be called upon to help take them back to a man 
who claimed to be their owner, after he has worked 
there all these years and got that little home for him- 
self. Now I just ask, Jacob, what would j'ou do ? " 

Jacob gave no reply for a few seconds, beat the arms 
of his chair with his fingers, whistled in a low uncon- 
scious manner, a short time and then said, " Yes, well, 
that is hardly a fair comparison ; besides, I suppose if 
that should occur I would make it suit to have business 
away from home verj' suddenly. Well, I declare it is 
half-past eight, I must go to the barn and look after 
that roan cow and the old mare. Walter, you may get 
the lantern and come along." 

Walter got the lantern and went along, but as he 
walked along he wondered why his father had thought 
it necessary to defend the Democratic party against 
the charge of sending colored men to slavery ; he won- 
dered whj' his mother had insinuated such a thing, and 
he wondered still further, after he went to bed, whether 
his mother ever had been as deep in the Democratic 
faith as his father. 

When the election was over the next week, Walter 
discovered that his forecast as to Tom Swave's party 
being in the minority, was certainly true as applied to 
the whole countr}'. Pierce was overwhelmingly elected. 
The conqueror of Mexico had carried but four states in 
all the Union ; and he heard one enthusiastic neighbor 
say, down at his father's saw mill, that he doubted if 
the Whig part}' would ever make another ralh'. Wal- 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPKKSSIONS. 23 

ter thought sometimes, however, perhaps he could 
hardly have told why, but yet he half felt sometimes 
that his father did not join in the general rejoicing of 
the victor}^ with that enthusiasm incident to a man of 
his actions and temper. Had anj^ other person noticed 
that? Had any one of his neighbors for a moment 
suspected that the fires of Democracy were actually be- 
ginning to burn low in his breast? They observed, of 
course, that he was greatly absorbed in his new enter- 
prise of improving the old farm, of repairing the old 
saw mill, and the}' thought of the mortgage that was 
on him ; that was enough to keep a man's mind pretty 
well occupied. It was merely that and nothing more. 
Yes, there was one other person who noticed that all 
through the campaign, as well as after it was over, her 
husband acted more like a quiet and thoughtful looker- 
on than one whose chief ambition was success for his 
party. She knew it was unlike Jacob to do anything 
by halves. He was a man of opinions. She would 
not have wanted him an infirm, feeble man, without 
opinions ; but, still she felt entirely comfortable under 
the weak lethargy which he now exhibited on this 
matter. She would not goad him on the subject or 
argue with him about anything. That, she did not 
think would be right, especially if a w^oman's instinct 
were telling her that everything might come around all 
right itself. She did not doubt of course, but that he 
would go to the election and vote for Pierce, which he 
did. That there was some untold reason why he was 
not putting his usual vim into it, she felt morally cer- 
tain. And I feel sorely tempted to tell you right now, 
that it was the last time he ever deposited a Democratic 
ticket in the ballot box. But I must not waste too 



24 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

much time with Jacol) Graham in giving you a narra- 
tive of his son Walter, 

School had once again opened at the old stone school 
house and Walter had been in attendance only a week, 
when a visit from two of the directors elicited the fact 
that he could name every President of the United States 
in regular order from Washington down to the present 
day, the number of terms they had served, and the 
years of those who had died in office. He then put 
the cap stone of high intelligence and statesmanship to 
this prodigy by being able to answer that we would 
have a new President now, by the name of Franklin 
Pierce. That Washington was called the "Father of 
His Country;" Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory;" and 
that Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declara- 
tion of Independence." 

Nothing could have been more satisfactory to Mr. 
Flora than this wonderful exhibition of precociousness 
or have drawn forth a higher commendation from the 
two official gentlemen, whose visit was duly appreciated 
by themselves at least ; both of whom declared ' ' that 
was what they liked to see brought out in the schools, 
some knowledge of public matters." Candor, also 
compels me to say the transaction, taken as a whole, 
was not unpleasant to Walter. 

Scarcely another week had rolled around when the 
school was to have its first afternoon's spelling on sides. 
As Walter was standing on his side pretty well toward 
the foot, listening with trembling emotions to the big 
words that were coming down the line, he staggered 
for an instant when the word " fugitive " struck him. 
'"Fugitive,'' repeated Mr. Flora, rather sympathetically. 
' Did you ever hear of the ' Fugitive Slave I^aw ?' " 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 25 

Walter commenced to feel his way along the sj-llables 
and to his great surprise got it right. As the words 
passed on to the other pupils, he lost the run of them, 
as he was thinking that it seemed to him, somehow, he 
had heard of the ' ' Fugitive Slave Law. ' ' He would 
not have been quite certain, but he had a kind of an 
idea that it had some connection with the subject his 
father and mother had been discussing the evening he 
got the lantern to go out and help look for the roan 
cow and the old mare. Thus engaged in his thoughts, 
his turn came around before he was aware of it, and 
the '' tives" not all exhausted yet. Representative 
proved a little too long for him and he returned to his 
seat. 

It was only another week from this occasion that his 
father said to him one evening after the supper was 
over, "Well, Walter, do you want to go along to the 
debate this evening ? ' ' 

The regular winter lyceum had been organized for 
a month now, and Walter knew that his father usually 
took considerable interest in it. He quickly replied, 
' ' Yes, I would like to go. ' ' 

Mrs. Graham interposed, saying, "Oh, I don't know ; 
had he better go ? It will keep him out of bed so late." 

"Oh, yes." said Jacob, "he is getting old enough 
to pick up a good bit now, just by listening. That is 
a good wa}' to learn things." 

Walter accordingly put on his cap and coat and 
marched off with his father to the Shocktown debating 
society. There he saw his teacher, Mr. Flora, acting 
as president ; Mr. Baker, who he knew kept the little 
academy some three miles distant ; old Mr. Williamson 
of whom he had heard ; Mr. Hoover, the village black- 



26 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

smith, who he understood was an enthusiastic Demo- 
crat : even their minister, Mr. Hartle}-, had come in and 
another Httle short man by the name of Hirsh, whom 
he understood to be a kind of local preacher in the 
Methodist Church. 

I will not undertake to say that Walter understood 
all that had been said that evening, for the simple rea- 
son that he did (according to his mother's fears,) go to 
sleep part of the time. But certain it was, his mind 
was at its impressible stage, and his father was equally 
right that he could ' ' catch on " ' to a great many 
things. Certain it was that between naps he heard the 
words, " Fugitive Slave Law," and in connection with 
it the name of Senator Mason, of \'irginia. Surely he 
thought old Mr. William.son spoke the most earnestlj- 
of any man there. His ear caught other phrases like 
" Mason and Dixon's Line," the "Missouri Compro- 
n;ise I^ine," and the " Wilmot Proviso." He certainly 
could not be mistaken when he heard Mr. Hoover sa}^ 
in great .spread eagle manner, " that, by the Eternal, the 
Union must and shall be preserved," that he was onl}- 
quoting the language of " Old Hickory." 

When he returned that evening his mother asked 
him what he had learned ; she thought he gave her 
quite as intelligent a report of it as she could have 
hoped for. Walter told her he thought Mr. William- 
son was the best debater, and that " he talked a good 
bit about the Fugitive Slave Bill." 

A few weeks after this another event occurred at 
.school which seemed to startle Walter a little at him- 
.self, and, he half believed, set his father to thinking. 

There was going to school a little colored boy, named 
Ben. Smith, about eight years old, who was the butt 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 27 

of the school, tormented nearly to death by other chil- 
dren, and almost universally called, ' ' You little nigger, ' ' 
in the most thoughtless manner. One day, as a group 
of the boys had him astride a rail carrying him along and 
jolting him up considerably. Bill Boyle, a boy about 
eleven years old, ran up rudely against Walter, who 
was standing near b}', (but in no wise participating in 
the affair) with a pin in his hand to give the "little 
nigger" a slight prick, that he might jump more 
actively on the rail. 

" Bill Boyle, you big whelp," exclaimed Walter, 
' ' what are you running and pushing against a fellow 
that way for ? Besides, can't you let that little darkey 
alone ; what is the u.se of worrying the life out of him 
all the time ? ' ' 

' Oh, you want to take the part of a nigger, do you, 
Walt. Graham ?" retorted Bill, in an angry voice. " Be- 
sides, I don't intend to be called a whelp by anybody 
who sticks their lip in for the sake of a nigger." As 
he closed his remarks he turned around in front of 
Walter, shook his fist under his chin, drawing the pin 
he had intended for the " nigger " across Walter's face, 
making a scratch about an inch and a half long, where- 
upon Walter without stopping to consider consequences, 
sprang at the throat of Bill Boyle with the quickness 
of a cat and the dexterity of a modern pugilist, struck 
him with such force on his breast that Bill tripped on 
the same rail on which the little darkey had been riding 
(now dropped to the ground). Bill fell with full force 
on the broad of his back, Walter on top of him, chok- 
ing him severely all the time, until he actually gasped 
for breath. 

The other bovs now rushed around, exclaiming, "Give 



2^ WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

him a fair chance." " I reckon Hill ought to have a fair 
show against one smaller than himself," said Tom 
Swave. 

"Yes, but Bill tripped on the rail," cried Jack Mat- 
son. 

"Hold on, now," said Frank Swave, Tom's older 
brother, as Bill's big brother, Jake, was going to pull 
Walter off, " Bill struck first, I .saw it." 

" Yes, but then," exclaimed several voices in concert, 
" Walter interfered first on account of the little nigger ; 
we wont stand that." 

Walter, now parti j- pulled off by Bill's older brother 
and partly of his own accord, let Bill up, giving him a 
parting blow under the ribs with his fist. 

The bell now rang for school, which called a halt to 
the belligerents. 

Mr. Flora, who had noticed the whole affair from the 
window, with great diplomacy was now looking upon 
it with an air of innocence, as though he took it all to 
be an ordinary good natured tussleing match on the 
part of the boys, as he stood in the door ringing the 
bell. He was too good a politician not to feel instinct- 
ively the wisdom of such a course. I must say, how- 
ever, in justice to Mr. Flora, that I have always believed 
had he been forced to take official notice of the proceed- 
ings, he would have stood by the side of Walter and 
the despised negro. 

Walter gathered from the whispers of the children 
that afternoon .somewhat the sentiment of the school. 
That he had been "game" in "tackling Bill,'' there 
seemed to be considerable unanimity of opinion. To 
that noted fact the young heroes and heroines of Shock- 
town public school bowed with the same obeisance that 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 29 

they did in after years to gallant militar}^ opponents, 
like Lee and Jackson. As to his offering to chide white 
children about their conduct toward a "nigger," it 
seemed to be generally considered rather a degrading 
thing to do ; especially so, he heard one boy say, when 
" his father was a Democrat." As to the abstract ques- 
tion whether a ' ' nigger boy ' ' had any rights at school 
that the other boys were bound to respect, public senti- 
ment w^as about equally divided. 

Between these conflicting comments Walter scarcely 
knew whether to regard himself as a chivalrous knight, 
possessed of sentiment of courage and honor, or a mean 
fellow who had espoused a base cause. At all events 
he felt morally certain that he had nothing to conceal 
from his parents this time, and his own conscience was 
at ea.se. To be perfectly candid, however, I must say 
that he felt a little more alarmed than he would have 
been willing to admit when he heard Bill whisper, "Our 
Jake will give it to you going home to-night ;" and he 
felt considerably relieved when Tom Swave said," You 
keep right along by our Frank when you go out to- 
night." 

When he was safe home that evening and related the 
whole occurance to his parents, he thought his father 
seemed to meditate considerably when he told him of 
the part which implied that they would not have ex- 
pected such conduct from the son of a Democrat. His 
parents, however, said very little about it one way or 
the other, except to remark that he had better keep out 
of all the fights he could, but under the circumstances 
they thought he had done about right in this case. 

As the winter of 1853 drew to a close there was yet 
another circumstance occured that made an impression 



30 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

on Walter's tnind, more deep and ineffaceable than any 
that had yet happened. From all the positions in life 
he has since held he has looked back and wondered 
how much this little event on that March evening had 
to do with shaping his political future. 

He and Tom Swave were walking down by the creek 
which flowed through his father's farm, about du.sk in 
the evening, to set their musk-rat traps, when there 
emerged from the side of the woods, about -fifty yards 
away and about the same distance from the road, a 
young colored man with a wild glare in his eyes, 
who stopped involuntarih- when he saw the boys, and 
seemed very much disconcerted. The look of fright 
and bewilderment was somewhat mutual. After a 
moment's pau.se, Tom said, ''Which way are you 
going?"' 

The colored man replied timidly, "Oh, I was just 
taking a walk through de woods ; what are you boys 
doing?" 

" We are just .setting our traps," replied Walter. 

The man .seeming a little more composed, advanced a 
few steps, saying " deres plenty of things to catch along 
de creek heah I guess." 

" Yes ; some musk-rats," replied the boys. 

There had now taken place in this short dialogue 
that indescribable something which passes from count- 
enance to countenance that establishes confidence. 

The man then said, " I was huntin' de road to .some 
cross roads, I forgets de name, day says 'bout a mile 
off." 

" Martin's cross roads?" queried the boys. 

" Dat am de place, dat am de place," he said, advanc- 
ing and handing the boys a note. 



FIRST POLITICAL IMPRESSIONS. 31 

They took it from him and read, " Mr. WilHamson 
near Martin's cross roads." The}- directed him the 
way as well as the}' could and instructed him how he 
might know the place when he came to it. 

The boys then finished setting their traps and walk- 
ed homeward together almost in silence. When the}* 
reached the place where they were to part Tom said, 
"Walt., don't you ever say anything to anybody as 
long as yo*i live about us .seeing this darkey to-night, 
and of his inquiring the road to John Williamsons. 

Walter replied that he " never would unless it should 
be to his parents." Tom said, '' I don't believe I would 
even mention it to anybody living." To this Walter 
made no reply, but as he walked to his home he felt 
somehow, he now had a prett}^ clear conception of what 
the "fugitive slave law" was. It seemed to throw 
him into a deep study. He began to doubt if his 
father ever had a very high respect for this law ; as for 
himself he was sure now that he thoroughh' despised 
it. Taken all together it is safe to sa}' that he had 
received his first political impressions. 



»N V t 






CHAPTER III. 

FIRST POIJTICAI. ASPIKATIOXS. 

TT has already inadvertantly slipped out that Jacob 
^ Graham cast at the pesidential election of 1852 his 
last Democratic vote. Did he know at the time that 
it was such ? No. There are seconds that count for 
centuries. There are moments that change the destiny 
of nations. There are conversions that are made in 
an instant, but Jacob Graham's was not of this kind. 
The.se are generally made when the furnace is at 
white heat ; the conflict in the American Republic 
had not as yet reached that point. But who believed 
it was so near ? Some difference of opinion existed 
as to how long the fire had been smouldering, but 
Jacob Graham knew now that it was smouldering. 
He was not among those who were deluded by the 
promises of two great political conventions, that the 
agitation of the slavery question was forever at rest. 
He was far too intelligent a man to be cheated by such 
subterfuge. But was he called upon to break the bonds 
of party, of fellowship, of life as.sociations ? You, who 
think this is an easy thing to do, go try it. You may 
hire men for thirteen dollars a month to face the can- 
non's mouth quite readily, if your cau.se is popular ; but 
go see what headway you make in procuring men to 
espouse that cause, simply by word and sympathy, 
which shall bring upon them the frowns of their neigh- 
bors. Conscience, you may answer, will triumph in 
the end in a man of Jacob Graham's mould. Yes, but 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 33 

you must remember that Jacob Graham was a man of 
judgment as well as conscience. What overpowering 
argument was there he, reasoned, convinced him that 
he could turn his back upon the party of his father, 
upon the party of Jefferson, who he believed saw as 
clearly as the most violent abolitionist of the present 
day, that this fuse had been burning ever since the 
Constitutional Convention in 1787, adjourned at Phila- 
delphia with those compromises in it. And from him 
had he learned that " where he could not lead he could 
follow." Then, besides, where was he to go? The 
Whigs were as completely swallowed up in the vortex 
as the Democrats. Could that old party of aristocrats 
point their finger at those whose very names symbo- 
lized liberty, and sa}^ "Thou did'st it." No, their 
necks were bowed in perfect submission, sometimes he 
thought in shame. To be sure, he had understood 
that their chief organ, the New York Tribune (although 
he did not read it) had said, " They supported the can- 
didate, but spit upon the platform." This he regarded 
as the subtle excuse of a guilty conscience. He had 
been for the Wilmot Proviso ; had hoped thereby to 
.secure the newly acquired territory from Mexico ex- 
empt from the curse of slaver}-. The author of that 
mea.sure, whose name it bore, was not he a Democrat ? 
Had the Whigs stood by it any better than the Demo- 
crats ? Precious little. Had not Webster and Clay 
both floundered, and what were they but the Whig 
party ? To be sure, there were a few other names men- 
tioned now in connection with these feverish debates in 
Congress, a little circle of them who had refused to put 
fetters on their limbs ; but they were spoken of as " old 
Giddings, of Ohio," " Thad. Stevens, of Pennsylvania, 



34 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

with his cloven hoof,"* "Moral Lecturer Sumner," 
and " Higher Law Seward." Whatever may have been 
the real respect Walter Graham's father entertained ot 
the.se radicals in his own n>ind, it was obvious to him 
that it was not their council that pervaded, or their sen- 
timents that animated the convention which had nom- 
inated General Scott. As he surveyed the field soberly 
to himself, he saw a small circle of "fanatics," of im- 
practical men and women, who had separated them- 
-selves from all political organization, ready for the dis- 
solution of the Union itself if necessary to expunge 
slavery from the country ; who went up and down the 
land preaching as if they regarded themselves as pro- 
phets, and who.se only organ, he understood, was a small 
.sheet publi-shed from a garret loft in Boston, which 
openly declared that it desired "no Union with slave 
holders," and that the United States Constitution, 
" was itself a covenant with death and a league with 
hell." Surely, he thought, there were no qualms ot 
conscience calling him there. His belief in the immor- 
tal utterance of the tough old hero of his party, " that 
by the eternal the Union must and shall be preserved," 
was with him no mere sentiment. He believed it from 
the depth of his heart, from every fibre of his being, 
and he would entertain no solution of any question 
which contemplated its destruction, let it come from the 
columns of the "Liberator" or from the mouth of 
John C. Calhoun and his young disciples, Davis and 
Toombs. On that question he would " hew to the line, 
let the chips fly where the might." 

There was still another course over which his mind 



* Mr. Stevens had one club foot. 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 35 

dwelt longer than all else besides. There was a little 
third party of which neighbor Williamson was already- 
a member. It was numerically weak, to be sure ; he 
could count on the fingers of his one hand all the votes 
it had received in Adams Township. Indeed, Hale and 
Julien's vote in Jefferson County had onl}- reached 273 ; 
but was not the principle .strong " free soil " — the con- 
titutional power of Congress to prohibit slavery in 
all the territories ? Was it not only a question of time 
when these men of the more advanced views of the old 
expiring Whig party and the anti-slavery element of- 
his own party, like David Wilmot, would land there. 
He would not plunge in headlong, like an impractical, 
to get there too soon, and lose his reputation in the- 
neighborhood of being a sagacious, cool-headed man ; 
but he would wait and watch ; aye, with a vigilance 
which none but his wife should understand. Thus, 
while waiting and watching he found some convenient 
excuse for not getting at the election at all in the fall 
of 1853 and for voting .some kind of a high-bred mon- 
grel "Native American, Know- Nothing '' ticket the 
years of 1854 and '55, and of which he always after- 
wards felt half ashamed, and of which he always half 
believed even Walter suspected. 

During these j-ears of transition in the political opin- 
ions of Jacob Graham, the mind of Walter was passing 
through its formative state. That the foundation of its 
political side was already laid in horror at the thought 
of having anything to do with the " Fugitive Slave 
L,aw," made it perfectly easy for him to understand 
the cause of his father's reticence, to foresee rather 
clearly for one of his j-ears where he was drifting and 
to keep perfect step with him in the march. He saw 



3P) \valtp:r graham, statesman. 

that Mr. Williamson was growing to be a greater man 
in the mind of his father than he had formally esteemed 
him, through his integrity he had never doubted. He 
received more of his confidence and vSimday afternoon 
talks now than any other neighbor. 

" Uncle Tom's Cabin " had been read in the family 
now, and in the fall of 1S55, occasional copies of the 
New York Trihinc crept inadvertantlx' in. They 
contained blood curdling accounts of the outrages in 
Kansas. Walter always had been fond of the tragic, of 
heroes and hero stories. vSomething unusual was going 
to happen he felt sure, some excellent opportunities for 
those who were anxious to perish upon the bed of 
honor. 

Thus it was Mrs. Graham, who had long since landed 
at the political port of abolitionism, at which place she 
awaited the arrival of her husband and son, perceived 
with unerring instinct that the impre.s.sions of the latter 
on that subject were beginning to take the shape of 
aspirations. In this latter thought she was not quite 
so happy as she had been in contemplating the former. 
Now she was a little uneasy, filled with slight forebod- 
ings when her mind turned on what she was afraid 
might be the bent of Walter's mind. But he was 
young \-et ; could she not mould and direct that mind 
into other thoughts and other fields, or could she 
change the mould and thought that God had given it, 
mother though .she was ? Thus she rea.soned and quer- 
ied, and wondered if it would be right to do it even if 
she could ; but there was one thing she must do, keep 
his mind pure and keep it near to her own. 

Accordingly it happened one sombre September even- 
ing, in the fall of 1S55, ^^r-''- Graham was sitting by 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 6i 

the kitchen door, stringing some beans for the morrow's 
dinner, when Walter approached her, coming up the 
path from the saw mill. 

" Well, Mr. Walter Graham, how has the day gone 
with you?" she asked, as she advanced. 

" Oh, pretty well, mother; how has it gone with Mrs. 
Graham?" said Walter, in the easy familiarity she had 
always endeavored to establish between herself and 
children. 

"Well, I suppose she has no reason to complain 
either," rejoined his mother, " but I think I will go to 
.sleep to-night without rocking." 

' ' I have loaded twenty-three cart loads of stone for 
the masons to-day ; that is, Pat McNight and I, and we 
helped on with three logs at the mill, and I don't feel 
a bit tired," said Walter ; then to give his mother con- 
clusive proof of what he said, Walter turned around 
upon the grass, and turned two successive hand-springs. 

"Well, now, Walt.; if your strength hurts you so," 
rejoined his mother, "you can take the ax and split 
up .some of that oven wood for morning; I want to start 
baking early." 

" Yes, mother," he answered, " as soon as Joe gets 
done learning." The former was now lying upon the 
grass, so that his body might make a rest or fulcrum, 
over which his five-year old brother could learn to per- 
form the same feat. 

Mrs. Graham, after watching for a few minutes with 
some interest, how boj-s learned to turn the hand- 
spring, called, " here, Walter, come on now; it is time 
you were at the wood. ' ' But instantly, seeing an oppor- 
tunity to lead the conversation up to a point she wished 
to reach, without Walter suspecting her motive, she 



38 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

contiiiuud, " is that an easy thing to do: turn over that 
that way ?" 

" No, indeed," exclaimed Walter, triumphantly, " it 
takes a pretty good man to turn the handspring." 

" Can most of the boys at school do it ?" asked his 
mother. 

" Indeed, they can't," continued Walter, in thesame 
tone ; only about three or four. 

" Can Tom Swave do it ?" queried his mother. 

" He can kind of do it by going a little side wise," 
replied Walter. " There are only two others that can 
do it straight over like I do. They are Jack Matson 
and the little darkey, Ben. vSmith." 

" Tom cannot do it, then, quite as well as they, can't 
he?" said Mrs. Graham. "No; not twice in succes- 
sion," answered Walter. 

" By the way, Walter, what kind of a boy is Tom 
Swave, anyhow?" asked his mother. 

The response came quick from Walter's lips. " Oh, 
he is a tip-top boy, mother ; why, what makes you ask 
me that ?" 

"Well, I don't know," replied his mother, a little 
more thoughtful now. " I have sometimes wondered, 
Walter, whether he is in all respects the kind of a boy 
you ought to be so intimate with." 

Walter answered with a fervor born of true friendship, 
saying, " Oh, indeed, mother, he is the best bo}- in the 
whole neighborhood around. I would not swap him 
for all the rest put together. ' ' 

" I know you are very fond of him, " rejoined his 
mother; ' ' but are you really sure he cares so much for 
you?" 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 31) 

' ' I have no reason to doubt it as yet, ' ' Walter re- 
plied meditatively. 

This answer seemed to convey with it a .sound phil- 
osophy, which Mrs. Graham perceived at once and 
thought to herself : why then should I be the first to 
disturb that confidence, perhaps without a reason, and 
thus she said: "Well, then, don't doubt it without a 
cause; that is all right ; I suppose he is .smart enough 
in his studies, is he?" 

" I should think he was," answered Walter. " He is 
the only boy in school I am afraid of in that wa}'. He 
don't study very hard either." 

" You and he like to pitch quoits, sometimes, on Sun- 
day afternoons, down at the saw mill, don't you ?" 

' ' Yes; but then he is not a bad bo}^ mother, ' ' repeated 
Walter ; "he goes to Sunday School and church everj^ 
Sunday morning, the same as we children do." 

Walter proceeded to cut his oven wood, and Mrs. 
Graham proceeded with her work. 

The next Sunday, after the family had returned from 
church, and dinner over, Mrs. Graham and Joe started 
out for a short stroll over the fields. A few minutes 
later the two little girls, Mary and Sue, respectively 
two and tour 3-ears younger than Walter, smiled and 
motioned him to the window, where he saw Tom 
Swave walking up the road, whistling a supposed tune 
and casting side glances toward the house, which was 
the usual signal for Walter to come out. 

Walter turned to his mother, half doubtingly, and 
said, " Tom is out here mother; may I go out? " His 
mother without showing the least emotion answered, 
"Yes, tell him to come in and see the rest of us." 

Walter weut out, and after some minutes, returned 



40 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

with Tom. As he entered, Mrs. Graham advanced, 
addressed him friendly as she took him by the hand, 
saying, " How are you, Thomas; you are quite a stran- 
ger. You are so partial with your visits, we thought 
we would like you to come in and see the rest of us 
once." Tom replied quite at ease, and with consider- 
able urbanity of manner, that he was quite well, 
thanked her, and said, ' ' How are you ? " " Very well, ' ' 
was the replj-. " How has j'our mother been this sum- 
mer, Tom ? You must excuse me for calling you Tom ; 
I have become so used to Walter calling you that, and 
I guess your mother calls you that .sometimes ? " 

The kind, unrestrained manner and voice of Mrs. 
Graham made Tom feel quite glad he had come in, 
and set him to thinking whether he had been mistaken 
all the time in supposing that Walter's parents were 
opposed to his loitering around on Sundaj's so much ; 
as he answered all Mrs. Graham's questions with the 
same unconscious ease, he smiled his sh}- "How do 
5^ou do " to the girls. 

These preliminaries being over, Mrs. Graham prepared 
to lie down on the old broad settee for a short nap, say- 
ing, as she did so, "Boys, as you will hardly content 
yourselves sitting around the house all afternoon, sup- 
pose you go down to the mill and bring your quoits up 
here behind the wood shed if you want to pitch ; I am 
afraid it will get to drawing other boys about in crowds 
ifyoudoittoo much down there." Never were two 
boys more utterl}- astoni.shed. Never did two colts upon 
a green pasture jump with a greater agilit}*. They had 
not got many yards out of the door, when Walter re- 
turned and asked timidly, ' ' if John Hoover, the black- 
smith's boy, might come along up. He is down there, 
may we ask him ? " Mrs. Graham, covering her face in 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 41 

her shawl to repel the first gentle tinge of frost on that 
golden October day, answered with an assumed indif- 
ference, "Yes." Never did mother do anything after 
more prayerful consideration and seeking for the light, 
than .she had done — in what .she now did. She and 
Jacob had talked it all over. It would be useless to 
talk it all over again. Suffice to say that Jacob remem- 
bered that his father had alwaj's been more rigid on 
this question that he thought necessar}^, so rigid indeed, 
that he could remember having hid away sometimes on 
Sunday morning to keep from going to church, a thing 
Walter had never done. Mrs. Graham remembered 
that her father relaxed considerabl}^ in his later years 
on this question, without destroying either the spiritual 
or moral character of his children. He had also ad- 
mitted to her that when a boy " he used to feel the old 
Puritan New England Sunday coming on, on Saturday 
night, like a dread pall, and pa.s.sing off on Monday 
morning like a heavy night-mare dream;" so they 
mutually reached the well matured opinion that if Wal- 
ter's limbs were bound to have a little stretching on 
Sunday afternoons, in obedience to nature's decree, 
they had better let it be done under their own observa- 
tion and consent, rather than at the saw mill by stealth, 
where the village boys might promiscuously congre- 
gate. The wisdom of their couise was made manifest 
sooner than they had hoped for. The afternoon had 
scarce elapsed when Mrs. Graham, by tho.se indispens- 
ible qualities pertaining to the true mother, had led 
her son and his companions to think there were more 
rational ways of spending their Sunday afternoons, and 
still have all the enjoyment they required. It was ac- 
complished, as she had hoped it might be, without issu- 



42 WALTER ORAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ing inflexible rules that would sour Walter's mind 
and strain the relation between them, or destroy the 
confidence he had in his friend About an hour before 
supper, when Walter returned to the house, it was to 
find Mr. Williamson and Mr. Baker, sometimes called 
Professor, seated around his father. Mr. Baker kept 
the little academy before mentioned. Mr. Wagner, 
who was to be the new teacher for the village .school 
the coming winter, and reported to be well learned in 
all the English branches, and more adequate than Mr. 
Flora, for the increa.sed demands of the growing Shock- 
town school, was there. They were discussing, not 
Sunday ethics or moral laws, but the "Kansas-Ne- 
braska Bill." Walter heard his father say that "It 
might prove the last straw on the camel's back.' The 
hard service that was now being required of the people 
of the North, might produce a reaction, a di.sintegra- 
tion in the ranks of the Democratic party as well as 
others. 

Mr. Williamson said, " I hope .so. The most encour- 
aging symptom I see is that men like you, Graham, are 
beginning to talk that way. As for myself, after the 
passage of the Fugitive Slave Law and the compromi.se 
of 1850, and the cowardly course of both political par- 
ties of 1852, I had never felt more discouraged. It 
looked to me as if the conscience of the North was 
nearly subdued About all that was left was that little 
band of Garri.sonians, whom I know, Graham, you look 
upon as fanatics and traitors, and whose methods I be- 
lieve myself will never abolish slavery, but whose 
moral force it may take generations to realize, but in 
the end, will be mo.st deeply felt." 

Professor Baker was of the opinion that there, might 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 43 

be a general welding together of all the phrases of anti- 
slavery sentiment of the country in some new organiza- 
tions, on some such line of policy as defined bj- Seward 
(the power of Congress to prohibit the admission of 
slavery in any new territory ), the arousing of the people 
to the importance of the measure, and, since there is no 
escape except the challenge in the name of liberty. 

"Seward is a man," rejoined Mr. Williamson, "with 
a very clear philosophy, and may serve as a very excel- 
lent bridge upon which the conservative masses run 
across the stream. The only question is, whether he is 
a little afraid of his own prescriptions. I have it from 
good authority, that Thad. Stevens said to some friend 
in a private conversation, the other day, that he was 
not to be trusted ; that he was not a man to be relied 
on in a crisis." 

" Yes, but we must catch the ear of the conservative 
masses," observed Prof. Baker. " We must do first 
what we can, not what we would. Stevens" con.stitu- 
ents, 3'ou will observe, have for the present at least, 
failed to return him to the House." 

Mr. Wagner thought we ought not to judge the 
South too harshly. What reason had we to believe 
they did not mean to apply the principle of popular 
sovereignty in good faith to all the territories ? And 
was not the principle in accordance with a republican 
government ? Had not the people of an}^ territorj' a 
right to say whether it should come into the Union 
slave or free ? 

Mr. Graham replied that the new principle of popular 
.sovereignty, that Stephen A. Douglas thinks he has 
discovered, is simply a method bj- which the South ex- 
pects to acquire more slave States south of the old Mis- 
souri Compromise line of 36 degrees and 30 minutes. No 



44 WALTER ORAHAM, STATESMAN. 

mail need flatter himself with the idea that there will 
be any free States gained south of that line, and I am 
one, who says now with Seward — let the North accept 
this challenge in the name of libertj', and, if I were only 
a free man (I mean out of property), I would strike for 
Kansas and cast my lot in the Free State now." 

The conversation was here interrupted by Mrs. Gra- 
ham announcing supper ; but Walter drank in every 
word, watched every emphasis and felt every emotion 
of his father's last remarks. 

During the following December, when the long win- 
ter evenings were being spent in pleasant conversation 
by the family and Mr. Wagner, who boarded with 
them now, Walter watched with eager interest the 
long contest for Speaker of the Hou.se of Representa- 
tives, which became the subject of observation by Mr. 
Wagner. He read the daily paper every evening with 
avidity, and kept well up with his studies beside. 
When the victory finally came to Banks, he and his 
father were both highly gratified. 

Later on in the winter they discussed the proceedings 
of a mass convention, held at Pittsburg, for the forma- 
tion of a new political party. It had adjourned to meet 
at Philadelphia the following June and to be known as 
the " Republican Part}-." Some of the business people 
and .some of the practical people about the village, made 
incidental allusions to the attitudethe new party might 
take as to the "tariff," "internal improvements," 
or the "Pacific Railroad." But all the people of all 
parties instinctively knew and understood that the 
origin and main-spring of the new party was resistance 
to the further aggressions of .slavery, and most especially 
now to prevent the establishment of slavery in Kansas. 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 45 

Walter Graham was ready for action with all the 
impetuosity of youth, and when the springtime came, 
and brought to Shocktown the news that Charles Sum- 
ner had been struck down on the floor of the Senate 
for defending the cause of freedom in Kansas, he felt 
like buckling on his armor and marching down to 
Washington to avenge the wrong. He thanked God 
there was one man in the North with courage enough 
to accept Brooks' challenge. He looked upon An.son 
Burlingame as the hero of the hour. Of course, it is 
■ needless to say, that, after the Republican Convention 
met at Philadelphia, laid down its declaration of 
principles, declaring " slavery and polygamy twin relics 
of barbarism," and nominated John C. Fremont for 
President, Walter Graham and his father plunged in 
with all the zeal of fresh converts. As summer passed, 
and the campaign waxed warm, Walter's confidence in 
the result increased. 

Mart. Bernard, son of the shrewd Joseph, who had 
become quite wealthy, was now for Fremont. This 
fact gratified Walter, principally because, while he al- 
ways had considered Mart, a little proud, it would 
make his sisters (who really were nice girls,) all right. 
That he and Tom Swave were on the same side now 
was the matter of special congratulation to him.self. 

At a Fremont meeting in the village one evening, 
Walter beheld with satisfaction and pride, that his 
father was called upon to act as president. Tom's 
father arose at the proper time, and announced the 
organization, saying that " they were happy to call 
upon Jacob Graham, one of the most intelligent and 
highly re-spectable men of our county, to preside — a 
life-long Democrat who had cast off the stultifying in- 



46 WALTER GRAHAM, STATE.SMAN. 

fluences of Democracy and was going in with this new, 
young party to victory." 

This announcement was received with enthusiasm. 
Jacob Graham a.scended the platform, accepted his 
honor with dignit)' and modesty. He " regretted, how- 
ever, to announce that Hon. Mr. Miggels was not with 
them to-night, ])ut there would be no scarcity of able 
speakers, as they had with them Mr. Riggels, Esq., 
Mr. Siggels, Esq., and the distinguished old veteran 
of so many campaigns, Mr. Niggels, Esq." These 
men were all members of the Sharwood bar, the county 
seat of Jefferson County, a city of about twenty thou- 
saTid population. The first two speakers were young 
lawyers in their second year's practice. Walter was 
not favorably impressed with them. He thought there 
were some young members of Shocktown Lyceum who 
could beat them. But when old Mr. Niggels arose to 
address them, the audience gave close attention. As 
he warmed up with his theme, cheer after cheer broke 
forth from old men and small boys. Walter's en- 
thusiasm was genuine. He had no doubts now as to 
Adams Township, Jefferson Co.; it would roll up four 
thousand majority. Said Mr. Niggels, " It was an old 
manufacturing county, a tariff county, whose interests 
were all in joining the new party of freedom. Industries 
and enterprises of this character were antagonistic to 
slavery. Suffer that curse to enter Kansas and you 
will never see the smoke of a manufactor\- arise from 
within her borders." 

Walter asked his father that night, when they got 
home, if he thought there was any doubt whatever of 
Fremont's election. His father said, he was not one of 



FIRST POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS. 47 

those over-confident men about such things, but that 
he was really beginning to feel quite hopeful. 

He was slightly alarmed some days after, when he 
heard Mr. Williamson remark that he was greatly 
pleased to see this great increase of public sentiment ; 
but he could not allow himself to be too confident, and 
he coi;ld not forget that we had to contend with an old 
and powerful organization, thoroughly disciplined and 
equipped, with all the advantage of patronage at its 
disposal, and well schooled in the art of dissembling. 
Already, he understood, in Penns5dvania they were in- 
.scribing on their banners, "Buchanan, and free Kan- 
sas," and by that deception, combined with State pride 
for their candidate, they hoped to save the State. 

But Walter's mind was soon to be relieved of any 
misgivings ; for the next week he went to a large 7nass 
meeting, at Marsdale, where Burlingame was to speak. 
Of course, Burlingame was not there. Other engage- 
ments were more pressing, or he had missed the cars ; 
the audience did not exactly understand w^hich. At 
all events, Walter was considerably disappointed ; but 
the president of the meeting announced that they had 

with them, "the Honorable Mr. Brown, of- — ■, who 

had been a member of the House committee on terri- 
tories, during the last two congresses, and was as 
thoroughly acquainted with the all absorbing questions 
of the day as any man in the country." 

Mr. Brown was a .speaker of no mean abilities, thor- 
oughly in earnest, and onh' descending a little to the 
spread eagle in his peroration which, on this occasion, 
was substantially as follows: — "And now, fellow- 
citizens, does anj^body suppose that the leaders of the 
South meant for a moment that Mr. Douglas' doc- 



48 WALTER GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

trine of popular sovereignit}- should be applied to the 
territories in a spirit of fairness or good faith? If he 
does, I will read for his benefit the following extract, 
published in the Southern Kansas Pioneer : * ' The 
South must be up and doing, Kansas must and shall 
be a slave State. Southern freemen, come along with 
your negroes, and plow up every inch of ground which 
is now disgraced and defaced by an Abolition plow. 
Send the black and damning scoundrels back from 
whence they came, or send them to hell, it matters not 
which destination ; suit your own convenience. Send 
your rifle balls, and your glittering steel to their black 
and poisonous hearts. Sound the bugle of war over 
the length and breadth of the land. Let the war cry 
never cease in Kansas again until you have divested the 
territory of its last vestige of Abolitionism.' 

"This, my fellow-countrymen, is the plain unvar- 
nished truth of what the vSouth really wanted to accom- 
plish by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Are 
we going to be thus deceived b}' a kiss ? Northern 
freemen, come along with your wives, your sons, and 
daughters, and plant your homesteads in that broad 
territory, and protect them with your bayonets and re- 
volvers. Sir, it is not merely a question of the election 
of Fremont. That question, I am happy to inform 
you, is settled. I have been up and down your State, 
and through other States, and I assure you I have never 
known such an uprising in any cau.se since the days 
of the crusades. The people are marching now for the 
rescue of Kansas, as they marched then for the rescue 
of the Holy Land. Sir, if Jno. C. Fremont is not 
elected, I will cease forever political prophecy. The 



* A true copy, as published at the time. 



FIRST POUTICAL ASPIRATIONS. 49 

end, sir, as I verily believe, has come to the party of 
slavery ; to the partyjthat has made it a felony to shel- 
ter the houseless, to clothe the naked, to give the fam- 
ishing a cup of water, in the name of his Master ; or 
for a slave to utter, in the presence of his master, the 
words of Jefferson, ' Governments derive their just 
powers from the consent of the governed ;' or to say, 
with Sidney, ' Resistance to tyrants is obedience to 
God.' But, no sin, no sin. The slave oligarchy have 
no power to stem this current. They cannot ascend 
this Niagara, Before they can drag Kansas into the 
Union as a slave State, they will have to make the old 
oaks along the Missouri bear a different kind of fruit 
than acorns. They will have to make that vast expanse 
of country, extending from the Missouri to the summit 
of the Rocky Mountains, one great desert, and, God 
knows, it had better be a barren de.sert than be polluted 
by the withering foot-steps of the bondsman." 

Mr. Brown here retired amid loud and continuous 
cheers. Walter, who had stood spell-bound under the 
burst, passed from a terrestial into something like a 
celestial state of mind. He had never seen a full 
fledged congressman before. He had never seen so 
large an assemblage of people before. Others might 
have doubt as to the election of Fremont, he had 
none. To be a member of Congress, addressing such 
an assemblage on such a theme, was to reach the acme 
of fame. Historians may differ as to whether it was by 
Hannibal's father or his mother, whether it was at the 
age of nine or eleven, that he was brought to the altar 
and made to swear eternal hostility against Rome, but, 
certain it was, that Walter Graham the next day, at 
Shocktown school, without any coercion whatever on 
3 



50 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tlie part of his parent, in the presence of several of his 
school-mates, in the fourteenth year of his age, with an 
air of seriousness that made them smile, said that he 
was going to be a congressman some day. Whether 
he was animated alone by the soul-stirring experiences 
of the day before, or whether he was inspired somewhat 
by the thought that such a scene might make Maggie 
Bernard smile upon him with favor, we may never 
know, but one thing is reasonably clear, that, taking all 
together, he had formed his first political aspirations. 



CHAPTER IV. 

SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 

THE gray November da}' was closing in on the 
Shocktown school and the little village where the 
citizens of Adams Township had been congregating all 
day to exercise their sovereign right of voting. Mr. 
Wagner, the new teacher, had slipped over to the poll- 
ing place during the noon hour and voted for Buchanan. 
Walter regretted this fact, but still he had to admit that 
he did like him as a teacher. He seemed thorough, ener- 
getic and kind. As to the majority of the school, Wal- 
ter had no doubt. There were the Boyle boys, Jake 
and Bill, with whom he had the contest ; Jack Matson, 
whose father joined farms ; the Eong boys, sons of the 
butcher, and Jake Hoover, the blacksmith's son, were 
about all who were for Buchanan. The advocates of 
Fremont included High and Ben. Bowers, sons of 
Squire Bowers, who owned the old farm where Walter 
was born, and the most influential man in the town- 
ship ; the Swave boys, the Miller boys. Mart. Bernard, 
himself, and ' ' pretty much all the little chaps and the 
girls besides." So come what might, Shocktown school 
would be solid for the winter, Walter thought. But 
with all that, if his vision had not been blunted by Mr. 
Brown's speech, he might have perceived that his 
father had not been quite so hopeful since the October 
election in Pennsylvania,-'^ when the Democrats had 



* At that time the State election iu Peunsvlvaiiia came in October. 



52 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

carried the State by a small majority. About an hour 
after supper that evening, Mr. Graham said he believed 
he would walk over to the village. In the merning, at 
the breakfast table, he reported that Adams Township 
had given fifty-seven majority for Fremont. Mr. Wag- 
ner asked if that was as much as he had expected. 
Mr. Graham replied, "Hardly, I had hoped it would 
have gone up a little higher, but when I consider the 
increase it is over Scott's majority of fifteen, four years 
ago, I suppose I ought to be satisfied. ' ' 

Walter said the same rate of increase throughout 
Jefferson County would make Fremont's majority four 
thousand. 

"Yes, but you see, Walter," replied Mr. Wagner, 
smiling, "your majority in this township has already 
fallen below 3'our expectations. If Buchanan carries 
the States he is confidently expected to, his majority in 
the electoral college will be quite sufficient." 

"Yes," said Mr. Graham, "good political manage- 
ment and manipulations may have pulled you through, 
but Buchanan's majority on the popular vote, if he has 
any, maj^ be very small. It is a great revolution of senti- 
ment since four years ago. On the whole, I am greatly 
encouraged. I have not yet abandoned the idea that 
Kansas may yet get in as a free State." 

" I think you are a little severe on us, Mr. Graham," 
rejoined Mr. Wagner, "by inferring that the election 
of Buchanan jeopardizes freedom in Kansas. If I were 
in Kansas to-day, I would vote for freedom there as 
much as you would. We simply ask for the people of 
Kansas the privilege, however, of deciding it for them- 
selves. ' ' 

' ' The people of Kansas do not need any privilege to 



I 



vSOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 53 

make slaves of themselves," said Mr. Graham, " the}' 
already enjoyed the privilege of liberty. You confer no 
favor upon a community, already secure ir freedom,' to 
give it the power of self-destruction.' That, I believe, 
is about the way Seward puts the question ; and, be- 
sides, another thing you overlook, Mr. Wagner, you 
say that if 3'ou were in Kansas you would vote for a 
free State constitution, but, let me remind you of this 
— there would be a great effort made to prevent you 
from living there at all, for the simple rea.son that you 
would vote that way." 

"Ah! you state the case a little strongly. You peo- 
ple are unduly alarmed, I think," was Mr. Wagner's 
repl3^ 

Walter here interposed, by saying, "But, father, do 
I understand you concede the election of Buchanan ?' ' 

" No, I don't know that I actually concede it," said 
his father, .slowly; " I don't know that I shall do that 
until I have to. Of course, it is possible I shall have 
to." 

Walter did not like the look and expression that 
accompanied these words. He started off to school, 
not in the high glee he had expected. He felt premo- 
nitions of a slightset-back in store for him, in fact, he 
was not sure that he had not already experienced it. 

When the noon hour arrived, the boys rushed out to 
meet the train, just arrived from Mansdale. Sam. Blair, 
the engineer, who had commanded the little "Andy 
Jack.son " (and who, during the years of construction, 
had become quite well acquainted with the boys), 
leaned out over the cab of a large engine, called the 
" Kansas," and gave a friendly wave of the hand 
toward them. 



54 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" Hello, Sam., what is the news from the election ?" 
cried Walter. 

"Oh, Bnchanan is elected," said Sam, "you are 
gone up. ' ' 

" Oh, he is a Democrat, aiu^how," said Tom Swave; 
" he is only trying to stuff us." 

The boys ran on down the road to meet 'Squire 
Bowers, coming up with the morning paper, who told 
them that Fremont had carried all New England, New 
York, and, in short, eleven States were counted on as 
certain for him, making his electoral vote one hundred 
and fourteen. Walter had, by this time, so far recovered 
his head as to observe that, at no time had he said dis- 
tinctly that Fremont was elected. Maryland had gone 
for Filmore, he reasoned, but that still would not throw 
the election to the House. Buchanan would yet have 
174 electors. He had it all figured up as accurately as 
the chairman of either national committee. As he looked 
into these figures all afternoon and evening, he was 
more convinced than ever that he had been vanquished. 
He was quite sure of it the next evening when Long's 
boys, hallooed to him, as they pa.ssed by with the 
butcher cart, " Come down here, Walt., we have a Salt 
River ticket for you." And when Pat. McKnight (the 
son of the Irishman who lived in his father's tenement 
house, and who had just polled his first vote for Bu- 
chanan), answered back, "He is all wilted up, he is 
all wilted up, he has not got strength to come after 
it." Walter contented himself for a reply with a gruff, 
good-natured, "Oh, dry up, won't you?" 

But time seems to produce a recovery from the se- 
verest shocks. Before the next week had passed away, 
Walter found the men of the neighborhood, who had 



SOME SUGHT BACK-SET.S. 55 

cast their fortunes with the new part}-, take about the 
same view of it as his father. Instead of being dis- 
couraged they were rather astonished at the nearness of 
their victory. The Tribune upheld their faith in pretty 
much the same strain. It said, that " no great revolu- 
tion had been successful in its first assault. Bunker 
Hill was a failure, but Yorktown followed in due time." 
It gave an account of a delegation which had marched 
in procession to the house of Gen. Fremont, to sing 
to him a song of condolence, of which the following 
was the chorus : 

"If months have well nigh won the field. 
What may not four years do ?" 

This seemed to be somewhat of a balm to Walter's 
sorrowing spirit, as he sang the words on the play- 
ground for the benefit of his fellow school-mates, not, 
however, eliciting the same favorable comments on his 
musical talents that he had in man}' other things. Thus 
the senior portion of the people in and about the now 
thriving little village of Shocktown settled down to 
business, and left politics for a brief period, at least, 
drop out of their minds. It received, however, occa- 
sional renewals and spasmodic outbreaks at the school, 
even running pretty far into the winter, when the snow- 
balling matches sometimes took sides upon that basis. 

In fact, I have often noticed, it takes a presidential 
campaign longer to pass off at a country public school 
than in an}- other work-shop of our country. That 
nursery of future statesmen, from whence come those 
luminaries who shall be able to take charge of their 
respective townships and counties, wards and cities, 
with becoming moderation and dignity, up to the 
one who shall have the fortune or misfortune to plant 



56 WALTER GRAHAM, vSTATESMAN. 

his feet firmh' upon the capitol at Washington, and 
hold in his hand a telescope, which brings within 
the range of his vision the White House at the other 
end of Pennsylvania Avenue. I know that brother 
Shiple}' asks, what is the use of always talking about 
the little school-house on the hill-side being the 
safet}^ of our country, when the saloon is turning 
out Michael Mahoolcys at such a rapid rate? While 
candor compels me to admit that his question is worthy 
of pondering and considering, somehow I am yet 
among those who prefer to pin their faith to the little 
school-house rather than surrender to the saloon. Not 
that any one could pretend to claim that all who 
graduate at the former are worthy of putting on the 
robes of angels ; but, because at that stage the mind is 
most plastic, second onl}' in pliabilit}^ to the period at 
which it was rocked on its mother's knee, and because 
it imbibes there, as no where else, the true conceptions 
of American democracy. Academies, normal schools, 
colleges and universities may increase the store of 
.secular knowledge, but the germ that innoculates the 
plant and gives the flavor to the fruit may have been 
inserted long before the student crosses their threshold. 
The air of seclusion and self-adulation, which some- 
times hangs around these institutions, is more propitious 
to aristocrats than democrats. It sometimes happens, 
indeed, that not even a diploma from Yale prevents the 
bearer from graduating afterwards at the saloon ; one 
more gilded and fashionable than the one at wdiich 
Michael Mahooley graduated, but none the less potent 
for evil. Is it any wonder then, that the great com- 
mon, respectable ma.s.ses, who lie between these two 
extremes, should stick pretty closely to the little com- 
mon school? 



SOME sliCtHT back-sets. 57 

Hence it is, in this little narrative of Walter Graham, 
wherein I pledged myself to withold nothing, I have 
dwelt thus long upon the details of his experiences at 
the old stone school-house at Shocktown, and can only 
say, by way of apology, that even the one -tenth has 
not been told. At this little school he spent his next 
winter, and the one following, and when, in the spring 
of 1858, in his great eagerness to bid it a final adieu 
and enroll his name with the older scholars, already 
gone before, at Professor Baker's academy, Walter him- 
self was quite oblivious to the full measure of what it 
had done for him. He would remember with deep 
gratitude, of course, how Mr. Wagner had extended 
the regular curriculum, in order to allow him and some 
others to master the elementary principles of algebra 
and geometry. In fact, he could not but feel he had 
enjoyed the favorable opinion of all his teachers. 
There he had enjoyed the genial friendship of Tom 
Swave, whom he generally excelled, but who some- 
times made a brilliant dash and excelled him. There 
he had declaimed the fiery words of Patrick Henr}^ 
of Pitt and of Webster ; there he had kissed little 
Maggie Bernard one day upon the play ground ; there 
it was he afterwards lived to see her turn up her little 
mouth at him in a pout and walk off in the play with 
High. Bowers. (Oh Maggie, you little blue- eyed 
Maggie, how could you toss your head so defiantly in 
the face of first love, and break the heart of our hero ?) 
All these and a thousand other recollections he would 
take awa}" with him ; but it was only in after years, 
when upon heights tempestuous he stood, when in 
hours serene he meditated, that he fully comprehended 
how deeply they had impressed him. How he cher- 



58 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ished the dear old spot, how no subsequent school was 
nestled so closely in his heart ! 

But now it came to pass, that Walter found himself 
seated, in the November of 1859, where he had longed 
to be, at a desk in Professor Baker's Academy. The 
Professor had removed his school over to the village 
the year before, and its flourishing condition now war- 
ranted him in employing Mr. Wagner, who had de- 
clined further employment in the public school, to 
assist him during the winter months. Walter had 
been detained from entering at the opening of the term, 
for about a month, on account of the seeding, the corn 
cutting, and the rush of business at the saw mill. 

The morning he presented himself, the Professor re- 
ceived him kindly, asked what he would like to study 
this winter, and began to look around for a seat. 
Walter also cast his ej^es around the room over the 
crowd of about thirt}' or forty boys and girls, some of 
whom he had never seen before. Tom Swave he saw 
sitting on a seat with Mart. Bernard. His spirits 
drooped a little at this, not only because his chance for 
sitting with him himself, looked doubtful, but because 
he also felt he would rather see Tom seated with any 
other boy than Mart. Frank Swave was seated with 
Henry Kerr, the son of an ordinary well-to-do farmer, 
who lived two and a-half miles distant. Henry rode 
back and forth each morning, except on Monday morn- 
ing, when he came in the carriage and brought with 
him his sister x\melia, who boarded with Walter's 
father and taught the old public school, being the first 
lady teacher who had filled that role in the winter 
season. High. Bowers seemed to have for his com- 
panion a boy something younger than himself, an en- 



SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 59 

tire stranger to Walter. As they advanced slowly to 
the rear of the room they reached a desk occupied by 
one boy only. The Professor here took another reflec- 
tive glance over the field and said very kindly, "I 
guess Walter you may take this seat here with Wil- 
liam Morton. This is Walter Graham, William." 

Walter took his seat rather demurely, and thought his 
future seat-mate looked the same way. There was some- 
thing, however, rather natural, he thought, in the way 
Will. Morton courtesied to him ; something that might 
come from natural kindness of heart, or from studied 
urbanity of manner, he was not certain which. He 
looked to be about two years older than himself, about 
the age of Mart. Bernard, and might more appropriately 
be seated with him, he thought, than with me (his 
mind already looking towards the mutual swap that 
might be effected). A second glance at Mr. Morton 
convinced him that Mr. Morton had been looking at 
him. In fact, their eyes had a short but square contact. 
Walter did not shrink from it as much as might be im- 
agined, whether because the countenance was actually 
more approachable than he had supposed a moment be- 
fore, or whether it was because he had suddenly thought 
of what his mother had told him, that " while he had 
done no wrong, he should shrink in the presence of no 
man." Certain it was, Walter had observed in these 
stolen glances that young Morton wore fine clothes, that 
he had a very handsome watch and chain, and, alto- 
gether, he was rather disposed to admit to himself that 
he was quite handsome. The thought occurred to him, 
if it could be possible that he was the son of the 
wealth}' Mr. Morton, of Mafsdale, who was engaged in 
the grain, lumber and coal business, and who rumor 



(lO wIlter graham, statesman, 

said was a silent partner with Mart. Bernard's father, 
at Shocktown, and the man who he felt pretty sure 
held a mortgage on his father's farm. A few days' 
acquaintance with "Will. Morton," as he was called 
by his fellow school-mates, revealed the fact that he was 
a first cousin of Mart. Bernard's, and it required no 
astute mind to observe that he was to be the central 
figure, around which the little aristocracy of Shocktown 
Academj' would revolve. 

At the end of the first week, Walter said, " It is a 
wonder you and your cousin Mart, don't sit together." 

"Oh, it's no difference how we sit," replied Will ; 
' ' this is the way the Professor arranged us, and let it 
go." 

" I will ask if you and Mart, can't sit together, then, 
I can sit with Tom, if you prefer," replied Walter, with 
an expression which easily told that he was not inter- 
ested solely to the comfort of Will. Morton. 

But the reply was, " No, no, leave him alone where 
he is, I would just as leave sit back here with you." 

The manner of this reply was such also as to make 
Walter wonder whether Will. Morton might have about 
the same opinion of Mart. Bernard that he had, and if, 
indeed, he might not prove to be a very agreeable seat- 
mate, and whether he might not begin to feel compli- 
mented by the fact that he had such an accomplished 
and wealthy young gentleman for a companion. At all 
events, the change was not made nor any further effort 
to bring it about. As time passed on, he began to 
feel not only quite at ease, but quite attached to his 
affluent friend. Was this making Tom a little jealous, 
or was he a little jealous of Tom ? Was he somewhat 
fearful that a winter's close fellowship, under Mart.'s 



SOME SLIGHT BxVCK-SETS. 61 

influence, might make him a little proud ? Would the 
tendency be to strain any relation existing between 
them ? These conflicting emotions bothered him some- 
times more than he would have been willing to admit. 
But yet he would dismiss them each time, he reasoned, 
in full faith, that nothing could produce such a tension 
on the cord that bound him and his life-long friend to- 
gether as to cause it to break. Besides, had not Tom 
been placed there through no choice of his ? He would 
naturall}^ have a straight path to walk, but Tom always 
had great tact and could bring things out right in the 
end. 

Things were proceeding thus when, one day in De- 
cember, unusually warm for the time of year, Walter 
was leaning forward with his head resting between his 
hands, his elbows on the desk, pretending to stud}- his 
lyatin, but, in reality, ver\' nearly asleep. Mr. Wagner 
spoke up from the other side of the room, where he had 
been having an arithmetic class recite, " What is the 
matter with you, Walter, are you losing your energies ? 
I supposed you would have been down in Virginia to- 
day, rescuing old John Brown, rather than going to 
sleep here in school." "No, I found I could not get 
there to-day in time to save him, but we will all go 
down someday on the same errand," replied Walter, 
half asleep, half in humor, and altogether unconscious 
of the great truth he had unwittingly spoken. "Let 
him hang," said High. Bowers in an audible whisper. 

Walter now aroused from his stupor and resumed his 
studies but not even the thrilling event of that day, 
the hot discussions which it gave rise to in the literary 
societ}' which was an appendix to the school ; the long 
struggle for the speakership in the House of Represen- 



62 WAI.TEK GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tatives which equaled the one of four years before, 
together with all Walter's natural inclination for the 
political arena, could keep his mind from digressing 
more or less towards the social side of life. Need he 
be ashamed to admit he thought that it was sometimes 
pleasant to be in the society of the girls, to bask in 
the favor of Will. Morton, who was so well qualified 
to introduce him into society. Had not even Caesar 
and Napoleon tumbled to love ? Had not Fitz James 
been enamored by the beauties of the mountain maid 
when all else had failed to capture him ? Certainly 
there was no rational reason why he who would soon 
reach the mature age of seventeen should not yield in 
moderation to these inherent tendencies of human 
nature, even if it did to some extent retard his pro- 
gress with his Latin and German. The evening he 
spent at the party, given by the Bernards on New 
Year's night, was so charming and so harmless. It 
was a little dancing party, the first of the kind that 
Walter had ever attended. Will. Morton was master 
of ceremonies. He had a couple of Marsdale's young 
ladies there to teach the young lads and lassies of 
Shocktown the accomplishments. Even Mart, did not 
seem quite so stiff and formal. For a while, his own head 
seemed to whirl in the maze and he almost forgot there 
was such a person as Tom Swave, although he was 
actually present at the time. He was passing success- 
fully through his first lesson in the plain quadrille with 
Amelia Kerr as preceptress, when suddenly, as he 
swung on the corner, he heard anoise that sounded like 
a tear. It was Miss Page's dress he had set his appren- 
tice foot rather heavily upon — the train of her dress. 
Maggie Bernard said to him ironically," I thought you 



SOME vSI^IGHT BACK-SETS. 63 

used to be a supple boy, Walt. Yoa ought to have 
grace enough in your movements to keep off the ladies' 
dresses." Walter was a little confused, almost too 
much so, to properly ask Miss Page's pardon. Amelia 
Kerr whispered in a more benignant tone, "Never 
mind, never mind, don't say anything about it." 
This little incident put a slight chill upon his enthu- 
siasm ; but, taken all together, the evening had been a 
success. 

But the winter was not yet over. It was only the 
next week after the party that a new scholar knocked 
for admission at the door of Professor Baker's Acade- 
my. His name was Patrick McKnight. His social 
standing and home training had not been as high as 
that of the young ladies and gentlemen who consti- 
tuted this little aristocracy. Some were alarmed lest 
Patrick's admission might corrupt their morals and 
lower their social standing, for sure he was the same 
Pat. McKnight, son of old Jimmy McKnight, who 
lived in Graham's tenement house ; the same young 
man who, three years ago, had voted, on age, for 
Buchanan. But all the same. Professor Baker admit- 
ted him. Pat. had received an injury in the side, which 
would incapacitate him from doing hard manual labor 
during most of the winter, or from stirring aroinid in 
all kinds of weather at his business of buying poultry, 
butter and eggs. What was he to do, sit down and 
mope the winter away, loafing around the village store, 
tavern or oyster saloon ? Why could not he go to 
school on such days as he felt able, and stir up his 
knowledge in arithmetic, of which, in trading, he some- 
times felt his deficiency. The public school, of course, 
would not receive a man twenty-four years old, but 



64 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

why was not his mone}- as good to Mr. Baker as that 
of any one else? Thus reasoned Pat., and thus he 
walked over to the school one morning when it was in 
session, and stated his case to Professor Baker, and the 
latter commended his purpose and told him he would 
be glad to render him any assistance he could, and then 
Professor Baker said to the scholars (who snickered 
and laughed after Pat. went out), " What in the world 
are you laughing about, boys and girls ? Why, I see 
nothing funn}-. A young man struggling to acquire 
an education ; is that what amuses you ? Why I am 
astonished." 

After these remaiks, somewhat indignantly uttered 
by their teacher, the scholars settled down, slightly 
ashamed. But Walter had time to observe there was 
more tittering on the girls' side of the room than on the 
boys' side ; that even Mag. Bernard had given a con- 
temptuous smile ; that High. Bowers' face had at first 
assumed a grin like a hyena's, but like a whipped 
spaniel's after the Professor's reprimand. He felt glad 
to notice that neither of the Swave boys nor Henry 
Kerr showed any disrespect. Even Mart Bernard had 
betrayed no emotion, and Morton's subdued smile was 
only that of quaint good humor. It was several min- 
utes later, when he reflected that, for the first time in 
his life, he had involuntarily said to himself, Mag. 
Bernard, instead of Maggie. 

To tell the truth, Walter himself would just as leave 
Pat. had not come to the school. He had really no 
special claims upon Walter's friendship. He had lived 
in the neighborhood a kind of protege of his father's 
family as long as he could remember, and he knew 
that Pat. was rather fond of the exercise of authority, 



SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 65 

and that in the early years of his existance, he was a 
little afraid of him. He could remember his having 
told him, at the age of six, to stand at the stable door 
with a corn stalk to keep the old cow out, while he, 
Pat. chained the other in, that the old red cow shut her 
eyes and cow-like walked straight through the door, 
knocking Walter down, but fortunately stepping safely 
over him. Pat. came running back, and, without even 
once commending him for the gallantry with which he 
had stood at his post, began berating him as a poor stick 
for doing no better. I^ikewise, Walter remembered 
that Pat. had once placed him, at the age of seven, on 
the back of the brown colt to ride across the lot while 
he led him ; that the colt jumped and threw him off, 
greatly alarming his mother. Pat. denounced him as 
a coward for not getting on again, and when Walter 
suggested to Pat. that he should get on him.self, Pat. 
replied that he ' ' reckoned he knew how to break colts, 
don't we always put boys on first?" But the.se and 
many similar events Walter had now forgiven. He 
had reached the j^ears when he was at least no longer 
afraid of Pat., and his conclusions as to his character 
were probably' not very far from the truth, that he was 
a young Scotch-Irishman; born on ship board, on the 
passage of his parents to this country, possessing the 
usual aspirations of his r:ce, naturallj- firm in his own 
conceit, abundantly able to hoe his own row in a free 
countr}', and having in reality some good traits of 
character, and, as Walter reflected on his own high 
ambition, it certainlj^ did not lie in his mouth to dis- 
parage Pat's efforts to acquire a little more knowledge 
of the common English branches. 



66 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

So it happened one day, about the first of March, that 
the boys were gathered about the porch of the school- 
house (within hearing distance of the girls), discussing 
the great social event which was to happen next week 
— the party at Bowers'. High, said he would do 
everything in his power to make it a success, he was 
going to invite a few outside people of high social 
standing, and then all the scholars. Walter, without 
a moment's reflection, asked, "Are you going to invite 
Pat. McKnight?" High, turning around with a con- 
temptuous grin and an air of .superiority, said, "You 
must be getting out of your head, Graham, what do 
you mean? Do you hear Walt. Graham, boys, he 
wants to know if I am going to ask Pat. McKnight to 
our part3^ ' ' 

Several of the boys gave a suppressed laugh, and 
Walter was not sure that he understood the expression 
on Morton's face, although High, had turned to him 
rather appealingly as one in authority, and hoping he 
would immediately squelch any such sentiment as that. 
What Morton's real feelings were, whether simply 
those of regret that the issue had been raised, or other- 
wise, it might be unsafe to say. At all events he had 
the good sense to hold his tongue until he heard what 
Walter had to say in his defense. Walter's reply, 
rather more apologetic than might have been expected, 
was, — "Well you said you were going to invite all 
the scholars, and surely that includes Pat." 

Walter had seen his mistake in making the original 
inquiry, but no sooner was his an.sw^er out than he also 
saw his mistake in making it in a manner that might 
.sound like humiliation. To High. Bowers this air only 



SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 67 

encouraged him to greater arrogance. "Yes, but I 
expected to confine it to respectable families. Of 
course, you naturally feel a little sensitive on the 
matter, as your daddie u.sed to be a tenement farmer 
on our place, and, in fact, if it had not been for my 
father it is doubtful if he ever would have got along." 

Walter now advanced towards him, and placing his 
clenched fist very near to High.'s face, said, in a man- 
ner capable of no misunderstanding this time, " High. 
Bowers, I consider my father as respectable a man as 
yours, and myself as good a man as you, and, for that 
matter, a blamed sight better, and if you give me 
another insinuation of that kind out of your mouth, I 
will smash it for you." 

High's arrogance seemed suddenly to have left him. 
With face about as white as the snow, and trembling 
like a leaf in an Autumn gale, he managed to stammer 
out, "Oh, well, you needn't get so high about it, I 
reckon a man has a right to invite whom he pleases to 
his own house. You need not bother yourself about it. 
I don't know as it is so particular whether you come 
yourself or not." 

"You can invite to your house whom you please," 
replied Walter; "as for myself, I would not go near 
your little stuck-up party, but I don't allow you or any 
other man to make any insinuations against my parents. 

Several of the boys here, including Will. Morton, 
said, "Oh, well, say nothing more about it one way 
or the other ; it's better for all hands. Let us go and 
have a good time at the party, anyhow." 

"You can go on and have all the good time at the 
party you want, I shall not bother it'," replied Water. 



fi8 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Although this was ostensibly the end of this little 
episode, Walter felt from this on that he was under a 
kind of social ostracism. True, he had been rescued, 
to some extent, by those two sentiments, so strong in 
the Saxon race — -in the American Saxon race — respect 
for courage and love of fair play. 

True, Will. Morton had said to him, with apparent 
sincerit)', " that Bovvers showed himself a coward, and 
he should not allow it to worry him a particle. He is 
evidently afraid of you, and wnll need you as nu:ch as 
you will need him."' 

Tom Swave had told two of the boys that " High, 
knew better than to take it up. Walt, would liave 
knocked the breath out of him in two minutes." Wal- 
ter, however, instinctively knew that the school, 
especially the girls, did not wish to be forced into tak- 
ing open sides against 'Squire Bowers' son, with all his 
influence, and thereby lose all the social pleasures they 
had in expectancy. 

This naturally made Walter feel a little isolated. He 
chafed under it sometimes, but he had no notion of re- 
treating from his position. He knew he had been im- 
prudent in calling it a "little stuck-up party;" he knew 
also, that he could get his invitation to it renewed upon 
the slightest hint to High., but he was not made of that 
kind of material. "This was twice," he rea.soned, "I 
have put myself under the ban by espousing the cau.se 
of the despised." He would be more prudent here- 
after. But he reflected, on the other hand, that Pat. 
now seemed to worship at his feet, and little darkey 
Ben. Smith, had acted toward him, ever since the day 
he raised his voice and arm in his defence, as one who 



SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS. 69 

could never pa}' his debt of gratitude. Was it not better, 
thought Walter, to stand firmly grounded in the favor 
of these than to be a fawning sycophant for the smiles 
of the elite ? To have some individualitj' of his own 
rather than to creep along one of society's weaklings? 
In fact, he wondered whether this first little touch of 
society had already weakened his purposes and sapped 
his energies ; whether its paralyzing hand was not 
already upon him, and the blood coursing less freely 
than usual through his youthful veins. He had been 
a fool ; he was born for the tempest and not for the 
drawing-room. To be sure, love was a natural instinct. 
There was Amelia Kerr, the beautiful brunette, he had 
every opportunity to behold her lovely character this 
winter while she boarded in the family. She was the 
daughter of a plain, honest farmer, who had, like his 
father, a mortgage on his farm. She was not such a 
snob as Mag. Bernard. Amelia was handsome in every 
respect, neither too tall nor too short, neither too fat 
nor too lean ; she was endowed with natural intelli- 
gence and strong common sense, she had spoken to 
him so kindly, almost affectionatel}', at the party, about 
his little misfortune with Miss Page's dress. Her voice 
was so wansome, her manner so sympathetic. He would 
devote himself exclusively to her and to his studies 
from this out. True, she was six years his senior, but 
that was not much. Had he not heard his own mother 
say, " It was luck to marry a girl older than yourself." 
And was not Napoleon much 3'ounger than Jo.sephine ? 
He could easily afford to wait, and was she not quite 
willing, too ? He would now plunge into his studies 
with that zeal and continuitv of which he knew 



70 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

he was capable. In the four weeks that yet re- 
mained, he would wrench victory from defeat. He 
would yet take the honors of liis class at the approach- 
ing exhibition ; he would call a halt upon the ambition 
of his friend, Tom Swavc. 

But already the law of retribution had written her 
decree. She cried, "Too late, too late, j'ou have wasted 
too many hours, Walter, dreaming of the waltz, you 
have gone sleighing too many nights with father's 
little bay mare and seal brown horse, you cannot pass 
your friend, Thomas Swave, in so .short a time. Na- 
ture has done as much intellectualh^ for him as she has 
for you ; and although your mother was a little afraid 
of his companionship, he has really not lost his head 
this winter as much as yourself He read your pur- 
pose distinctly and resolved quietl}- to give you a 
slight set-back. He would have trembled for the re- 
sult if you had formed your resolution at the com- 
mencement of the term, Init at present he is confi- 
dent of success." 

Yes, Walter, you were destined to stand on the plat- 
form on commencement day and act a minor part, 
while Tom. carried off the applause of the village 
denizens which you knew you could have had. Hu- 
miliated, defeated in the very field in which abov^e all 
others you wished to succeed ! It was enough to pro- 
duce remorse. Justice requires it to be said of you, 
however, that since it had to be so, you felt glad for 
Tom ; rather it were he than any other boy. And he 
was really glad that Henr}^ Kerr, of the A class, was 
valedictorian. 

Walter, however, would take with him some pleasant 



SOME SLIGHT BACK-SETS, 71 

memories of the winter, chief of which was that he had 
made the acquaintance of Will. Morton, no longer doubt- 
ing the genuineness of his friendship. He had said to 
him so often, even after the altercation with High 
Bowers, many little complimentary things, such as 
"You are a darling, Graham;" "You and I are 
chums ; " " You are a bo}^ of mine ; " " You have got 
true grit, courage, both moral and ph5'Sical." "You 
are going with me to college next year. While I Was 
there last 3'ear, before I got sick, there were plenty of 
boys in the Freshman class that did not know half as 
much as you." 

This last remark had so filled Walter's mind that he 
proposed it to his father, but to receive the reply, "No, 
you cannot go to college next year with Will. Morton. 
Even if I were able to give you a college course, I 
would not wish you to go now with him, not that I 
think him a badly disposed boy, but because he would 
have wealthy associates and companions, with habits 
of extravagance, which 3'ou could not pretend to keep 
up with. It would only disqualify your mind for 
study and increase his influence over you proportion- 
ately in that he would mould you about as he pleased." 

And now, though the school had been over onh' 
three days, he would have one unmixed pleasure at 
least before he entered fairly upon the drudgery of the 
spring work. He would take Miss Kerr over to Mars- 
dale to the lecture next week. So he went into the 
room that evening where she was sitting all alone and 
said, after clearing his throat three times, "Miss 
Amelia, if you have no other way to go over to Mars- 
dale to hear Beecher, Tuesday night, I will take you 
over. ' ' 



72 WATLER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

And Miss Amelia, the daughter of a plain, honest 
farmer, with an archness that would have done credit 
to a French actress, with a beauty of expression never 
excelled by Mary Queen of Scotts, with voice so win- 
some, with manner so kind, with expression so S3aiipa- 
thetic, replied, "Why, Walter, it is very kind of you, 
indeed, but I thank you, I have another way." 



1 






V 



•\\\ 



''% 



'/r 



'\\'^^y/ 



CHAPTER V. 

A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 

THE April sun was sinking low ; a round ball of 
fire it seemed to be in the western sky. The 
bright streaks of red that extended further up and 
stretched along the horizon, presaged, Aunt Nancy 
Stoner said, "A coming dry spell." The two bay 
mares which Walter Graham brought home from the 
plow, stood at the barnyard gate and nodded their 
heads with that intelligence which said " don't be long 
unreining us and opening the way;" which being done, 
they marched up to the watering trough and drank 
their fill. The low neigh of the seal brown horse 
greeted them as they entered the stable door, as if to 
say, "I beat you home." The old red oxen twisted 
their tails as a sign of relief when Pat. McKnight re- 
leased them from their yoke, and shook their heads in 
haughty defiance at the old brown cow and spotted 
calf, which stood munching at the crib they preferred. 
The cows gave a suppressed low of discontent as they 
peeped over the barnj^ard wall and through the gate to 
snuff the first odor of the grass now sipping the even- 
ing dew and painting the meadow with deep rich 
green. The 5^earling colt with steel gray coat had 
jumped from the lot into the young orchard where little 
Joe was driving it out before it should brake down any 
of the trees. The shepherd dbg leaped over the fence 
to join in the task, but devoted more time to rearing 
4 



74 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

up on Joe, whom he had not seen all day, than in help- 
ing with the work. The cat, with .sentinel eye, sat at 
the rail pile near the pig pen ready to make that spring 
so fatal for the next mouse that should expose itself 
outside their protection. The pigs grunted out their 
ease inside the sty, and increased it to a more impetu- 
ous squeal as the}- heard approaching footsteps that 
indicated slop and corn. The turkey gobbler strutted 
with majestic tread as he escorted the brown hen home 
from the place where she had secreted the germ of her 
next 3'ear's progeny'. Mrs. Graham had just closed 
the coop on the dominica hen with her brood of ten, 
the first of the season. Mary and Sue and the hired 
girl had just gone down to the barn with pails on their 
arms to do the milking. L,ittle Beckie Miller who had 
been over to spend the afternoon had bid them good- 
bye at the end of the path and ran on to her home in 
the village. The masons who had been laying the 
foundation wall for the much-talked of grist mill, had 
laid up their tools, drawn off their overalls and sur- 
veyed their week's work. Old Zebediah Monks and 
his nephew, Ben. Smith, had left the stone quarry 
and were walking down across the meadow^ to their 
humble abode, thinking of "The Cotter's Saturday 
Night." Jacob Graham had adjusted a log on the skids 
all ready to start the saw on Monday morning, and 
walked up to the house for a social chat with Mr. Wil- 
liamson, who had driven over to the village and left 
Mrs. Williamson with Mrs. Graham until he came back. 
Mrs. Graham was so glad to see her, and Mrs. Wil- 
liamson had "just told John that he need not think 
he was going to drive out this lovely evening without 
taking her along." And Mrs. Graham said," I should 



A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 75 

think so. Has it not been a lovely day ? The whole 
country is beginning to look green." And Mrs. Wil- 
liamson said "Oh, hasn't it; perfectly invigorating. 
How do you do, Mr. Graham?" turning to speak to 
him as he came up. "John will stop as he comes back 
from the office. I know he longs for a talk with 5^ou." 

' ' I assure you he can not be more anxious than 
Jacob is for one with him," said Mrs. Graham, "they 
will have so much to discuss now." 

Walter fed the horses, finished up the chores while 
the sun sank slowly out of sight, and wended his way 
to the house to join this peaceful circle. The whole 
community around the little village of Shocktown was 
sinking down to quiet rest. Dame Nature seemed at 
ease along the little village of the Silver, through 
which its placid waters flowed. 

"All seemed as silent and as still, 
As the mist slumbering on yonder hills." 

But within the broad limits of the United States 
there was, at this moment, another spot where the 
w^aters were not so calm, where the scene was more 
turbulent, where the political pot was boiling with the 
greatest intensity and being watched with suppressed 
anxiety. The Charleston convention had been in ses- 
sion a week and no report from the committee on reso- 
lutions. The debates had been heated and betokened 
a coming rupture in the Democratic camp. It was the 
crucial test as to whether the so-called principle of 
' ' popular sovereignty " or " squatter sovereignty, " as it 
was called, could in any way be juggled up to satisfy 
the South, or whether the followers of Douglas would 
yield the entire demand of the Slave Oligarchy, " that 
slavery existed already in the territories, that they had 



76 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

a natural right to move there with their property as 
had any other citizen;" that there was no "popular 
sovereignty " about it, that such had been the judicial 
utterance of the Supreme Court in the " Dred Scott 
Decision," that there was no power in the constitution 
to prevent it. Each speech seemed to drive the wedge 
a little farther in. 

Mr. Williamson said " he believed now that the con- 
vention would split. Douglas seems to have too 
strong a following to surrender, not that he has any 
actual principles or convictions on the matter, but 
simply because any other course would be fatal to him 
now. As for the South, I never for a moment sup- 
posed that they would abandon one inch of their 
ground ; the}' have a purpose and are standing on a 
principle. They have not manipulated all these years 
to have the ' Dred Scott Decision ' promulgated and 
then not avail themselves of it." 

" I suppose," replied Mr. Graham, " that we under- 
stand the ' popular sovereignty ' doctrine was only a 
pretext to their first step in nationalizing slavery. But 
does not that rather show that they saw the necessity 
of some pretext before they could expect the hearty 
cooperation of even the Northern Democrats in their 
ultimate purpose ? And don't you suppose to-daj^ Mr. 
Williamson, that Douglas in his heart prefers Kansas 
to be a free State?" 

"I do not know," rejoined Mr. Williamson, "that I 
am bound to suppose even that much for him. I think 
the best thing for Republicans to do is to simply take 
him at his word, that 'he does not care a particle 
whether slavery is voted up or voted down,' he has 
made that declaration so often that he and his follow- 



A DKEP-LAID SCHEME. 77 

&rs need not complain now when we charge him with 
having no convictions whatever on the real question at 
issue, namely, the admission or non-admission of sla- 
very into all the territories. Lincoln drove him pretty 
hard to the wall on that simple position, you will re- 
member, in his debate, and besides, if j-ou look at the 
question in the light of what has followed, and by the 
very speeches that the Southern leaders are making 
now in that convention and in Congress, it appears they 
never did put the repeal of the Missouri Compromise on 
any other principle than the one for which they now con- 
tend (their constitutional right to take their .slaves into 
the territories). In fact, as I have already said, they 
had a purpose from the start and never had many 
pretexts about it. It was Douglas himself who saw the 
necessity of some subterfuge to excu.se him.self before 
his northern constituents." 

"All very true," replied Mr. Graham, "yet some- 
times when I reflect what a narrow escape Kansas 
made from the L,ecompton conspiracy, that a change 
of three votes in the House would have launched her 
into the Union a slave State, and crammed the institu- 
tion of slaver}' down their throats against their will, 
I cannot help but feel that the friends of freedom owe 
him some little gratitude." "Just so," said Mr. Wil- 
liamson, "It is a perfectly natural feeling, but it is 
rather an exemplification of the truth of the saying 
that ' God sometimes works through m5'sterious agen- 
cies.' It is that feeling which threatens Republi- 
canism to-day. The great danger is that the party 
may give way too much to that sentiment. We must 
win on a square issue or we cannot win at all. We 
were in great peril from that situation in Illinois two 



/8 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

years ago, when so many Republicans were inclined to 
let Douglas have his seat in the Senate rather than 
raise a contest. I for one am much better satisfied that 
Lincoln was defeated than that he should hav^e lowered 
his flag and succeeded. Then, besides, if Douglas 
really has his face turned this way from anything 
that has its foundation in conscience, he will get to us 
in due time ; we need not go to him." 

"Yes, by the way, I see Illinois intends to press 
lyincoln's claims before the Chicago Convention for 
President," said Mr. Graham. 

" Well, how would it suit you? How does it feel 
down here?" queried Mr. Williamson, laying his hand 
upon his heart. 

"Well, I can't say," rejoined Mr. Graham, "that I 
am greatly disturbed imder the thought. Of course 
we would have to defend against the charge of nomi- 
nating a man comparatively unknown to the part}', but 
that cuts both ways sometimes ; you gain as much by 
that as you lose. Sometimes a man with too much 
reputation has some very vulnerable points." 

Walter, who had been an attentive listener up to 
this time, now interposed by saying, "I am for Sew- 
ard ; no man can say that he has not the brains. Pro- 
fessor Baker saj^s the rhetoric of Seward is almost 
faultless, and that there is a logic and coherency in his 
positions never equalled by any other man ever in 
Congress." 

"Well, Walter," replied Mr. Williamson, "that 
may all be true ; I shall not quarrel with Professor Baker 
about that. I suppose the Professor also knows that 
many people consider the diction, coherency and logic 
of Lord Bacon the finest in the English language, and 



A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 79 

yet tradition, if not history, says he could be bought 
for a five dollar bill." 

" That's a little rough on Seward," rejoined Walter ; 
"pretty near as bad as I heard a man say of I^incoln 
the other day — 'if the people of Illinois consider this 
man lyincoln a great man, I would like to know what 
their ideas are of an ordinary one. ' ' ' 

"That man," said Mr. Williamson, "had probably 
never read a sentence or an utterance of Lincoln's. 
For my part, I must say that as much as I read of the 
debates between him and Douglas, as they were given 
by the papers, and his Cooper Institute speech, he does 
impress me as more than an ordinary man. He has a 
plain, direct way of presenting a proposition in simple 
language that goes direct to the understanding of the 
average mind ; and, while I do not say that Seward 
can be bought for a money consideration, either large 
or small, it is quite certain that his last winter's .speech 
was something lower in tone and quite ambiguous. On 
looking over the field so far, I am not certain the con- 
vention can do better than drop to Lincoln. Chase, to 
be sure, has a national reputation, but, like Seward, 
he has some assailable points. Cameron is urged 
solely on the ground that he is an astute politician. 
As for Bates, he lives south of Mason and Dixon's 
line ; that, to my mind, is a serious objection to him, 
no matter how sincere he may imagine himself now. 
Viewed from every standpoint to-night, I am not cer- 
tain but it is the best thing we can do ; but I suppose 
we will not have so' very long to wait. Time will tell 
who is to be the man and how he will turn out. ' ' 

And time did tell. But two short months elapsed 
when she disclosed the fact, at least as to who he was 



80 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to be. Through the mist of conflicting interests and 
personal ambitions, the tall figure of the Sangamone 
had been diml}^ seen figuring in the background. The 
Chicago Convention had come and gone, and after the 
usual pulling of wires and smashing of slates, break- 
ing of promises and making of new ones, the cur- 
tain raised and there stood Abraham Lincoln. He 
was not very handsome, to be sure, buth is tall spare 
form and high cheek bones impressed his figure on the 
mind from the start. His mixed expression of kindness 
and firmness seemed to invite a closer inspection. His 
part}' said, " Hold him up that we may examine him." 
His friends held him up and said, "Judge and behold. 
True, he has only served one term in Congress, but 
upon his record in the debates with Douglas alone we 
are willing to stake his reputation. You shall learn 
as we publish those debates in full what manner of 
man he is ; of the clear terse wa}' with which, in 
simple language, he takes the wind out of sophistry 
and subtilty ; how he lays bare the purposes of the 
enemy, and tells in plain but comprehensive words the 
great purpose for which his party was formed." 

Of all the people in the country who went into that 
examination of Lincoln's character and capabilities, 
none were more earnest than Walter Graham. He was 
somewhat disappointed at the failure of Seward to 
secure the prize, but he soon recovered. He read every 
line and sentence of that historic battle of words that 
had been fought in the prairie State by the two great 
leaders of the common people. No more effectual 
campaign document could have been published to in- 
troduce a candidate to his party. Walter soon found 
his mind warming towards the ' ' old rail splitter. ' ' He 



A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 81 

felt primed for au argument for a speech from the stump 
— he dreamed, whether such a thing were possible. 
Would some opportunity present itself? Sometimes 
there were little local neighborhood meetings when the 
speaker disappoints. He would watch and keep his 
eye open and his mind prepared. The summer was 
passing pleasantl}^ along with ever}" indication of suc- 
cess, especiall}' after the adjourned Democratic Con- 
vention, at Baltimore, had actually dissolved and placed 
two candidates in the field. In his happiest mood, one 
nice Saturda}' afternoon, Walter asked his parents if he 
might have Simon, the brown horse, and he and Tom 
Swave drive over to Kerr's to see Henry. His mother 
said, "Why could you not hitch to the big carriage 
and take the girls along ? No doubt they would like 
to take a drive and see Amelia." 

The bo3'S both thought this a capital suggestion and 
accordingly they went. Simon looked his best, his 
coat looked so glossy. The girls seemed so glad and 
the bo3'S were so agreeable. They arrived at Kerr's to 
find everybody in the same sweet temper. Henrj' and 
his father were sitting out on the porch reading the 
papers. Miss Amelia received them so cordially, her 
voice was so winsome, her manner so kind, her expres- 
sion so sympathetic. Walter thought he could see in 
a glance she would have much preferred to have gone 
with him to the lecture ; that it was only because she 
could not help herself that she declined his invitation. 
Certainly, old Cain must be a great annoyance to her. 
What did she want with an old bald-headed widower 
of thirty-seven ? True, he and his brother, the doctor, 
owned a farm between them, but a girl of her qualifi- 
cations and graces would waver at no consideration of 



I 



oi WALTER GRAHAM. STATESMAN. 

that kind. This instantaneous reasoning and the satis- 
factory conclusion to which it brought him had but a 
short existence. It lasted only while he passed from 
the yard gate into the house, where he found "little 
old baldy " sitting in the rocking chair, and rising to 
shake hands with him as Amelia said very kindly, 
" You know, Mr. Cain." Then touching him on the 
arm, said, ' ' Walter, I wish to introduce you to my 
cousin, Annie Lesher, from Sharwood." Tom and the 
girls were introduced in turn. What Walter supposed 
were sound conclusions reached but a moment before, 
were now considerably shaken at what his eyes beheld. 
He wondered if Amelia's tastes were so perverted after 
all, and turned at the same thought for a second 
glance at Miss Lesher, to see what kind of a girl she 
was. He saw she was a spry looking blonde, some- 
thing younger in her appearance than Amelia, a trifle 
shorter in height, but a little heavier set, rather quick 
and decisive in her action, and lie thought perhaps a 
little bold. 

As they all walked in the orchard that afternoon and 
strolled down by the spring-house. Miss Lesher offered 
Walter her hand to be helped over a fence, and said, 
spryly, " Mr. Graham, I have to depend on you now 
to keep the snakes and the cows off. Mind, I am 
afraid." He thought, maybe she is not bold after all. 
I guess it is her natural quick way. These city girls 
always seem a little pert. He replied, " Oh, there are 
no snakes here and the cows will not hurt you." 

Amelia assured her she had nothing to fear while 
Walter and Tom were about. 

" No, I suppose not ; I will put my trust in them, 
anyhow," replied Miss Lesher. 



A de;kp-laid scheme. 8'^ 

As the little company passed the afternoon away in 
that easy and informal manner, incident only to the 
quiet old farm home, dicussing the harvest, the crops, 
and occasionalh' a little of their neighbor's business, 
Walter's mind, though alternating . between Miss 
Amelia and Miss Lesher, was entirely unconscious of 
the fact that anyone was thinking what fine, healthy, 
animated, vivacious girls were his two young sisters, 
Mary and Sue. 

When they were all .seated at the supper table Mr. 
Kerr inquired of the boys ' ' how their parents liked the 
nomination." 

Walter replied that his father was very well pleased. 
" He thinks, on the whole, it was the best nomination 
that could have been made. ' ' Tom said that ' ' it suited 
him first-rate. Father says he wanted the man we could 
win with, and he thinks we have got him." 

Amelia said, "Walter, it seems to me we ought almost 
to hear from you this fall, before the election is over. 
You have such a natural inclination for public affairs." 

"lyittle Baldy" now spoke up with an attempt at 
friendly humor, " We will have to have a grand rally 
some night, I think, at Martin's Cross Roads or at 
Hornsdale, in order to give Young America a chance." 
Walter smiled as best he could, while Tom and Henrj^ 
both said " they might do worse than listen to a speech 
from Walter." 

Walter was not so infatuated with Mr. Cain, at least, 
(whom he still involuntarily called in his mind ' ' L,ittle 
Baldy,") as to suppose he was entirely in earnest, but 
he thought to himself all the same, You may not know 
everything that is going to happen before this cam- 
paign is over. 



84 WALTER GRAH/vl^^, STATESMAN. 

As they rode home that evening they met High. 
Bowers and Ben. riding out. They stopped for a few 
moments' talk, when High, said, " Well, how are you 
all, anyhow; how are you coming on? I don't see 
much of you this summer, Walt." 

Walter replied that he had been pretty busy; that.he 
had not got awaj' much. High, threw out several 
more friendly ejaculations and inquiries and concluded 
by asking the boys to come and see him, after which 
they drove on. When they had gone about five hundred 
yards in silence, Walter turned to Tom, saying, "Well, 
what do you think of the serpent, anyhow?" 

Tom's repl}^ rather sarcastically given, was, " Oh, 
you have struck about the right name ; his daddie is 
going to be a candidate for the Legislature this fall. 
They will both be crawling about like snakes from this 
on. Still, it don't do to say too much. One thing is 
certain, neither of them will ever be hung for his 
brains." 

Tom turned his head back to the girls and looked 
approvingly at them, as he finished his remarks, and 
ihey smiled back in return to him. 

When they arrived at home, the girls alighted at thie 
house, and Tom went on to the barn to help Walter 
put Simon away. While they were all alone, Walter 
said to Tom, in a low confidential tone, "Tom I am 
going to make a Lincoln speech this fall, if I can get 
the chance to slip it in. Anyway, if you will never 
let on, and help to arrange it for me, I will consider it 
a great favor, and you know I will do the same for you 
if you want to make one. 

Tom replied in the same confidential tone, that he 
had no ambition of the kind for himself. ' ' But I will 



A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 85 

keep 111}' eye open and do all in my power, Walt , to see 
that you get a chance somehow, and you be prepared 
for any emergencies and have a good one ready. Ot 
course, if you were only a little older we might work 
it better." 

" Yes, I know," said Walter, "but then you know 
Randolph was so young when he first entered Congress 
that they asked him if he was of constitutional age, 
and Webster delivered a Fourth of July oration at 17, 
and I am that old now." 

"All right," rejoined Tom, " I will do my best." 

At this the boys parted with the warmest regard for 
one another. Walter having considerable faith that 
Tom's great tact and executive ability could bring it 
about. 

But July passed out. August came and went Sep- 
tember, too, closed in, and no speech from Walter, 
although it had long been prepared. 

Again he was seated comfortably one Sunday after- 
noon in the old sitting room at home, in the early Octo- 
ber, when Mr. Williamson and Professor Baker had 
dropped in for an hour's talk. Walter had given them 
an account of the size and enthusiasm of the grand 
torch-light procession which he had witnessed at Shar- 
wood the week before. He was certainly not over 
hopeful now in his cause. "The mass meeting at 
Mansdale four years ago sank into insignificance when 
numerically compared with this." Mr. Williamson, 
after hearing Walter through with his description, said 
to him, rather suddenly changing the subject, " Walter, 
do you know who lit every one of those torches?" 

Walter replied, with an expression of intelligence in 
his face which told very plainly that he understood 



86 WALTER GRAHAM, STATE.SMAN. 

Mr. Williamson had some point to make now in moral 
philosophy, though he did not exactly foresee \yhat it 
was, answered with a kindly smile: " I suppose the 
men who carried them lit them ?" 

"No," replied Mr. Williamson, "the men who car- 
ried them that night were only the instruments who 
went through the mechanical form of applying the 
match. They were all lighted by William Lloj-d Gar- 
rison thirty years ago. We only saw the blaze break 
out last Thursday night." 

This utterance fell with considerable force on the lit- 
tle circle, but it was Walter himself who deigned the 
first reply, as follows: " Mr. Williamson, most of the 
men who bore those torches would rather have Garrison 
denounce them than applaud them." 

" Your reply is apt and well put, Walter," said Mr. 
Williamson, " but do you suppose the men who were 
first moved b}- the truths of Christianity would not 
have been a little ashamed to acknowledge Christ ? 
Would not they rather have preferred, before the crowd 
that he condemn them ? " 

A slight pause again followed ; Professor Baker 
broke it by quoting Lowell's lines : 

" Each great cause, God's new Messiah 

Offering each the bloom or blight. 
Parts the goats upon the left hand 
And the sheep upon the right. ' ' 

"Jitst .SO, just so," uttered Mr. Williamson. Jacob 
Graham took rather a square look into the counte- 
nance of the man who had been such an important 
factor in bringing him to the platform where he now 
stood, and said, "Well, I think I have heard you say 
3'otirself, Mr. Williamson, that Garrison's methods were 



A DEKP-LAID SCHEME. 8/ 

not practical, that the}- would never bring about the 
abolition of slavery." " Quite true," rejoined Mr. Wil- 
liauLson, "and yet you must remember that it is im- 
practical only in the sense that all great moral agencies 
are impractical at fir.st. Force, which after a while 
consummates it, is but the natural sequence You know 
Christianity itself has been called impractical, and 
Christ ignored all physical force for his rescue from his 
slaj'Crs, but centuries afterwards hundreds of thous- 
ands of torches were lighted to rescue the soil his feet 
had trodden from those who had desecrated it. There 
are men, you know, who tell us to-day that Christi- 
anity was not established by Christ but by the Kmperor 
Constantine at the point of the bayonet, and yet don't 
we know that the Sermon on the Mount came before 
the bayonets. Even skepticism, to- day, — all those who 
honestly believe that Christ was only a man, and the 
stories of his miracles only fables — acknowledges the 
power and potency of his great moral or divine nature 
over any other example ever given to man. For that 
matter, all history will illustrate the point. It was the 
philosophers of Greece who melted down the gods of 
mythology. They were not known perhaps to a thous- 
and people in their day. It would be useless to 
elaborate. In all cases, some great moral explainer, no 
difference what the mould of his mind or the character 
of his heart, has gone before the convulsion. Kven 
Voltaire and Rosseau preceded the French Revo- 
lution." 

Another slight pause followed, after which Professor 
Baker said, " Your conclusions, Mr. Williamson, seem 
to rest upon the premise that Garrison ts the boldest 



88 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

moral advocate in the country on the question ; that 
he is really the Messiah of this reform." 

" They certainly do," replied Mr. Williamson, " and 
in that, am I not certainly correct ? You can point to 
all the other bold leaders in the cause of anti-slavery, 
but none have made the absolute sacrifices that he has. 
None have so completely put ever}' prospect of life be- 
hind them as he has. Other men have had the phj'sical 
courage, it is true, to die for it, but Garrison is the only 
one who was contented to live on a crust of bread and 
water daily, that he might espouse his cause He is 
the only one who says, with composure, after being 
dragged by a frantic mob through the streets of a pop- 
ulous city with a halter around his neck, ' I will not 
abate, I will not take back a single word,' No, sir ; 
disguise it as we ma)', all other forms of anti-slavery 
admit of some kind of temporizing ; the si7ie qua non of 
Abolitionism, pure and unadulterated, in this country 
to-day, is Garrisonianism and Wm. Lloyd Garrison." 

' ' I thought John Brown stood for the idea you have 
been illustrating," said Walter. "Did not he die a 
martyr and offer himself a sacrifice to the cause of the 
slave?" 

Mr. Williamson looked thoughtful for a moment and 
then said : " Walter, your questions strike close to the 
mark, but I can only say, John Brown simply repre- 
sents the physical side of the idea. I don't say that 
John Brown's moral convictions could have been 
deeper ; I only say that all history seems to show that 
Garrison precedes the John Brown, or the greater con- 
vulsion which will follow. Of course, I see that the 
character of John Brown challenges the admiration of 
the world, and especiall}' of flaming youth like yours, 
Walter, more than Garrison's, but that has always 



A DEEP-LAID SCHEME. 89 

been the case. The world has always paid greater 
homage to physical courage than to moral. And yet, 
in both cases, you will observe, the party to which we 
belong, and which we believe offers something prac- 
tical for the abolition of slavery, finds it necessary to 
disclaim any sympathy with either Brown or Garri- 
son." 

" Do I understand you to be of the opinion," asked 
Jacob Graham, "that the slavery controversy will yet 
result in a war in this country ?" 

"Yes," was Mr. Williamson's reply. 

" When ? " asked Walter. 

"I cannot fix the time," rejoined Mr. Williamson, 
"but I have reached that conclusion ; the bitter ani- 
mosities between the two sections of the country on 
this question, will end only in war. No prophet on 
either side of this controversy is wise enough to see 
everything. I believe that Webster is right in so far 
in his prediction, that an}- attempt to break up the 
Union will produce a war, such a war as I will not de- 
scribe in its two-fold character, for I believe the senti- 
ment for the Union, one and inseparable, is the strong- 
est sentiment in the American people to-day. And I 
am convinced, also, of the irreconciliability of the two 
elements. Therefore I believe war will yet be the 
sequel ; when, I cannot tell ; Mr. Garrison cannot 
tell. He told me once, himself, he never expected to 
live to see slavery abolished, nor was he clear as to 
how it might be brought about ; he only knew that 
God reigned, and therefore it would go to pieces in 
His own good time and in His own good way. And 
since prophesying is free to all of us, I will sa}' this, 
Walter, that although I do not expect to live to see it. 



90 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

if yoii live to be as old as I am, only 57, although I 
have been called old John Williamson for the last fifteen 
years, you will see a war in this country, which will 
have its origin in slaver3\"' 

Walter replied rather meditatively, "Well, that seems 
a great way off. I will just have forty years to live 
yet." 

The other children smiled and Mary said, "Walt, 
never expects to live to be that." 

Mrs. Graham said, " Perhaps a kind Providence will 
postpone it until after our day and generation, but 
that I suppose is a selfish wish." 

In this train of thought the congenial little company 
dispersed, leaving Walter to digest the thoughts he 
had heard, to rehearse in his own mind his Lincoln 
speech, and study out more fully his deep laid plan to 
get it off. While Thou, oh God, whose mercy had been 
asked to withhold thy avenging hand until we, of this 
generation had been called to rest, knewest best when 
the debt of justice should be paid. And it was no 
doubt true mercy, to let that little circle disperse that 
golden Autumn day, all in blissful ignorance of the 
fact that when next the}' should see the leaves put on 
those hues, the fiery flag of war would be sweeping 
desolation over the land. 



CHAPTER VI. 



HO! FOR MANSDALE. 



GRAHAM'S two mares, L,ucy and Flora, were all 
harnessed and dressed in their best regalia, hitched 
to Miller's big spring wagon in front of the coach shop, 
ready to take two of the Miller boys, Dave and Joe, 
Tom Swave, Walter himself, and any other two men 
about the village who had no way to go to the big 
parade at Mansdale that night. 

As the little Shocktown band pealed out the notes 
of preparation summoning the delegation together, 
these sprightly bays turned their intelligent eyes with 
a searching gaze, their ears went forward at the proper 
inclination, as they waltzed to the measured sound of 
drum and horn, and champed the bit of impatience as 
if to sa}^, who else of our species can beat us to Mans- 
dale is welcome now to try. The familiar voice and 
hand of their young master had allayed whatever 
there was of fear in their action and changed it into 
friendl}^ harmony with the pageant. 

It was the last week in October and no speech from 
Walter yet ; the cause had been espoused thus far 
without him. At all the local meetings in the neigh- 
borhood that he had attended, which consisted of but 
two, the speakers had been perversely punctual. 
Walter had already been entered one week aj: the 
academy, and was seated this time by the side of Tom 
Swave, both of whom were members of the graduating 
class of this institution. He had hoped that his de- 



92 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

liverance from the stump might have been over before 
this event, as he wanted no other absorbing thought on 
his mind after he had fairly entered upon his studies ; 
for he had resolved this winter that no divergent 
thoughts should draw him from his purpose, no allure- 
ments of fashion should sap his energies, no girl should 
fascinate him. His purpose was fixed : it was to take 
the honor of the class, to deliver the valedictory ad- 
dress, to receive for himself those cheers which others 
had received a year ago, and which he knew full well 
he had lost through his own neglect. If he could 
keep that resolution to the end, and keep it all to him- 
self, it meant simple victory. 

But the boys drove to Mansdale in the greatest glee. 
Walter had wondered all afternoon if he would have 
the good luck to see Will. Morton there. He knew he 
had started for college six weeks ago, but then, he 
would be likely to slip home occasionally on Saturdays ; 
would he not be likely to do so to-night? Walter 
counted him now as one of his true friends. He had 
received a letter from him during the summer that 
would have given final confirmation of that, if final 
confirmation had been necessary. When they arrived 
at the borough, as the various delegations were pour- 
ing in from the neighboring villages, Walter searched 
out a safe and secure place to tie his horses, blanketed 
them, and walked down the main street of Mansdale in 
a state of high expectancy and delight, which was 
greatly quickened as he neared the stand that had been 
erected for the speakers, when a friendly voice ex- 
claimed, "Halloo, here, young Graham," advancing 
and giving him a hearty shake of the hand, at the 
same time still exclaiming, " How are you, any how? 



HO, FOR MANSDALE. 93 

You, old chum, I was wondering if j-ou would be here 
to-night." Then, turning to speak to the other boys, 
he continued, ' ' Here is Tom Swav^e and Dave Miller 
and Joe. Did you bring all Shocktown down with 
you?" Walter replied, "Oh, we brought a pretty 
good delegation down with us ;" then turning, he intro- 
duced to Will, the two laboring men who had come 
with them. Will, shook hands with them with the same 
urbanity of manner he had shown to all the others, put- 
ting them at ease at once, and almost making Walter 
utter the thought in words, ' ' Yes, he is the true gen- 
tleman of aristocratic bearing, of democratic qualities." 
His manner was so courteous, so free, so easy, and yet 
not undignified. As for himself, Walter thought he 
could not have wished a more cordial reception. He 
thought Will, looked rather more handsome than ever. 
He seemed a fraction taller than he did last winter, 
but it might be that w-as because of his higher crowned 
hat and the first faint efforts of a goatee. 

Walter asked Will, how he was enjoying it at college. 
Will, replied, "Oh, excellently. I ought to have you 
there, though. You would make an excellent young 
fellow to settle the bo5^s who practice hazing on the 
Freshmen." "Yes, I would like to have gone," 
replied Walter, ' ' but father and mother did not see the 
way clear. However, Tom and I are back at Professor 
Baker's." 

" Oh, you can learn just as much there, if you want 
to," rejoined Will. "Where a boy has it in his head 
to do it, he can qualify himself to enter any of the 
professions almost, just himself, at home, if he sets him- 
self for it ; and, besides. Professor Baker has had a 
college education ; he can take you as far as you want 
to so. ' ' 



94 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Walter replied, "One thing is certain, I am not 
going to waste as nuicli time as I did last winter." 

B}^ this time they had advanced around the open lot 
up to the end of the hotel, at which the bar-room was 
located. Will, had moved along as the central figure in 
the group, and was also recognized now in a very res- 
pectful way by several other young men. Walter 
noticed two of them say something to him rather confi- 
dentially, at which Will, turned to him and the rest of 
his vShocktown friends and said with his same courteous 
manner, " Do you men ever take anything to drink ? " 
The two men who came with the boys .said quite readily 
they did not object to something sometimes. The two 
young men who had spoken to Will, advanced toward 
the bar-room, saying quite cleverly, "Just bring your 
friends in with you." Dave Miller followed Will., his 
two friends and the two Shocktown laborers a short 
pace behind, as the}- all passed through the door, the 
younger boys bringing up the rear. 

Walter had hardly realized what had happened, ex- 
cept that he found himself inside the bar-room where 
several others were standing around, all of whom seemed 
to be on familiar terms with Will. Morton, and the bar 
seemed to be doing a thriving business. He felt also- 
while he stood contemplating some faces and pictures 
on the wall, the same friendly hand of Will.'s touch 
him on the shoulder, who said, half apologetically, ' 'You 
can take something mild, a glass of mineral water, or 
sarsaparilla, if you don't care to take anything strong; 
or if you prefer, 3'ou can slip out here now at the side 
door, no one will observe it. ' ' It would bother Walter 
Graham to say to this day what reply he really did 
make to this observation ; suffice it to sav that he looked 



HO, FOR MANSDALE. 95 

at Tom Swave, and then at the Miller boys, and then 
tried to reflect. As he did this, he said to himself, " J 
have never understood in all these years that my father 
embraced the absolute doctrine of total abstinence, 
although he knew full well that his father was a very 
temperate and exemplary man in all things, and he 
saw in the same instant Tom order a glass of sarsapa- 
rilla with considerable composure. He could just fol- 
low suit ; but .somehow, he could not really explain 
how, before he knew what he was doing, one of the 
men had poured out a small quantity of brandy into a 
glass and said, " There, Walter, you take that much ; 
that will not hurt you." 

Walter felt himself involuntarily raising it to his 
lips ; as he felt for the first time the first small sip, and 
then the second of the burning fluid pass down his 
throat, he withdrew the glass more resolutely from his 
lips, threw the contents on the floor, laid the glass upon 
the counter, and walked straight out to see if Lucy and 
Flora were standing all right. Will. Morton followed 
him out and .said, " Walt., that is right ; you and I will 
go around to the stand now and keep out of this 
crowd." Walter said, "Yes, he would meet him after 
he looked after his team." As he did this he found he 
had time for reflection. He began to wonder if he had 
really lowered himself in his own estimation. He an- 
swered perhaps truly enough to his own conscience, as 
he had done even in the excitement of the moment, 
that there was nothing radically wrong, in the abstract, 
in taking stimulants under some peculiar circum- 
stances, but he instinctively felt and knew that while 
his parents entertained those views, they would have 
frowned wuth the greatest displeasure at his entering a 
bar-room on a public occasion for the mere purpose of 



96 _ WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

being treated. As the thoughts flew thick and fast 
through his brain, he thought he understood more 
clearly why his father did not wish him to go to college 
with Will. Morton. He thought of Mr. William.son's 
disquisitions about moral courage being a higher 
quality than physical ; his thoughts went back even to 
the day his mother had spanked him, with the admoni- 
tion that unless he learned to utter the little mono- 
syllable no he might constantly expect trouble, how 
.she .said something else in the same admonition about 
his " tru.sting nature." He wondered indeed which it 
was he had been this time, a moral coward, or a fool. 
His life so far had given .some evidence of possessing 
both kinds of courage ; he had been so told at least by 
the very lips that now led him to his humiliation. 
Peril ajxs he thought, sure enough, it is the fool I have 
been. It was. the trusting side of his nature perhaps 
that had got him into the present scrape, for he could 
not have denied in his soul that he liked Will. Morton 
and had trusted him. He knew very well that if any 
other of the company had extended the same invita- 
tion to imbibe he would have given a prompt no ; 
and yet what right had he, even now, he thought, to 
censure Will. Morton? Had not he shown him every 
avenue of escr.pe if he did not wish to drink, and had 
not he walked right into the web, just like an unsus- 
pecting fly? He doubted whether if Mart. Bernard 
had been with them he would have walked to the bar 
with the same composure to be treated that Tom Swave 
had exhibited, and yet he never did like Mart, and 
always had liked Tom, 

Well might Walter query to himself, "What kind 
of paradoxes are these in our natures?" 



CHAPTER VII. 

SHOCK TO ivy S LAST RALLY. 

TTTALTER'S thoughts were still engaged to some 
^ ^ extent on the events of the previous Saturday 
night, as he sat the next Monday morning at his seat 
with Tom Swave, who explained, with the air of one of 
great experience, how^ a man could best get out of a 
scrape of that kind : " Just either take something mild, 
or else just say you will take a cigar." 

Walter replied that ' ' The cigar would be of no use to 
me, as you know." 

Tom solved that difficulty by saying, " You can take 
the cigar and give it to me." 

Walter shook his head and said, "I have come to 
the conclusion that the best way to keep out of the 
scrape is to simply say no." 

At this the boys turned their conversation from this 
theme, and directed it to the coming event of the next 
Saturday night, the Lincoln meeting at Shocktown. 
Some reports had been rife for the last two or three 
days, that there w^as to be, or ought to be, another rally 
at Shocktown before the campaign was over. Some 
had said, "Oh, no! What is the use in trying to 
repeat a good thing the second time. It is always a 
fizzle." But Tom now told Walter, "Indeed there is 
to be a meeting on Saturday night in the hall (the 
name which was sometimes given to the upper part of 
Miller's coach or wheelwright shop), and two lawyers 
5 



98 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

from Sharwood, Mr. Button and Mr. Pepper, are to be 
the .speakers; there is a bill in our store." George 
Miller and Joe confirmed this by sa5'ing, "Yes, there 
is going to be a meeting in our shop. I heard father 
say so." Will. lyOng said, "A heavy meeting it will be; 
you had better save your strength, boys, lyincoln won't 
be elected." Jake Hoover exclaimed, "We are going 
to have a Douglas meeting in our smith-shop the same 
night." Walter said, "You need not fret yourself 
about Lincoln not being elected; you will .see all about 
that next Tuesday week." 

As for the coming meeting in Miller's .shop, there 
certainly was something a little mysterious connected 
with it. A few small posters had been seen sticking in 
the stores and on the fences, but no one seemed to know 
who was responsible for it. Even Mr. Williamson and 
Walter's father .said to him the next evening, when he 
spoke to them of this last grand rally, that they guessed 
Mr. Miller was just getting that meeting up on his own 
account to amuse the boys. Walter said, " He could 
not see whj^ it ought not be a success. ' ' Mr. William- 
.son said, "Well, I guess we will have to go over and 
help it along anyhow." 

When Saturday' morning came, the sun arose under 
a heavy cloud of mist, which Mrs. Graham told Wal- 
ter she believed " would end up with a settled rain." 
Walter looked meditatively as he said, " I don't know; 
sometimes it is a good sign to see the mist come down." 
At one o'clock, when he went over to the village for 
the mail, the weather seemed to be struggling between 
two opinions, whether to clear off, or to let the clouds 
weep themselves dry in more rapid torrents. Mr. Swave 
.said to him, "Well, Walter, the prospect does not 



shocktown's last rally. 99 

look very bright for the meeting; to-night." "Oh, I 
don't know," repHed Walter, "it may break away by 
the middle of the afternoon. The sun seems to be 
struggling to make its appearance at times." "Yes, 
but is too late in the day now, even if it does clear off. 
You see, the speakers won't start," replied Mr. Swave. 

' 'Well, I suppose we have to accept whatever comes, ' ' 
rejoined Walter; "only so there is no shirking next 
Tuesday on account of the weather. That will be the 
more important part, I suppose." " That is the point, 
that is the point, ' ' said Mr. Swave as Walter went to 
his home. 

About half-past three o'clock the sun broke through 
the clouds and patches of blue sk}- were seen all over 
the canopy. The wind was bearing round to the west, 
giving unmistakable evidences of a clear night. Walter 
thought to himself, "How could it have turned out 
better? The people will turn out now, but I don't 
hardly believe the speakers will come." 

After supper he and his father walked over to the 
village. They found a considerable portion of the 
neighbors and the villagers gathered about, but, true 
enough, no speakers. Tom drew Walter aside and 
whispered to him, " Now is your chance, Walt., there 
is going to be a pretty big crowd here after awhile, but 
no speakers. I think we will get our work in this 
time. You are all ready, are you?" 

Walter replied, " I guess I am. I have had time 
enough to prepare ; if I am not ready now it is a poor 
show for this campaign." "All right," said Tom, and in 
due time Mr. Miller arose and said, "As there seems to 
be no particular programme for this meeting to-night, 
or no particular person in charge of affairs, I move, fel- 



100 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

low citizens, that John Williamson be elected president 
of the meeting." The motion was seconded, of course, 
and dulj' put and carried, while Walter thought to 
himself nothing could be more fortunate. 

Mr. Williamson arose and advanced to the platform, 
which consisted of a small pile of six-inch scantling, two 
layers deep, and said he was sorr}' to be obliged to an- 
nounce that " Tiie speakers we had expected to be 
with us this evening are not here, owing no doubt to 
the unfavorable appearance of the weather during the 
da}^ ; but I am gratified to see so large a gathering of 
the community as this, at this late hour of the cam- 
paign. It is the little school-house meetings, the small 
gatherings like this, that make converts after all. I 
have no extended remarks of my own to make, but 
there are, no doubt, those of our neighbors among us 
who might have something to suggest. I observe we 
have Professor Baker with us to-night ; the audience I 
have no doubt will be pleased to hear from him." 

Professor Baker arose with becoming modesty, and 
said that he really had nothing to suggest by way of a 
speech. Indeed the role of stump .speaker was the 
last one he had thought of assuming, but he agreed 
with the president that the little close, compact meeting 
of the neighborhood, was what did the effective work, 
perhaps quite as eifectively as brass bands. He might 
suggest perhaps while on his feet, that some of the 
younger men of the community who had proven them- 
selves rather creditable advocates from the lyceum 
platform, as he had reason to know, might be induced 
to say something. 

Tom Swave, who had the Miller boys, his brother 
Frank and Henry Kerr all in the secret, now thought 



shocktown's last rally. 101 

that things had taken a more favorable turn than he 
could have hoped for. What good angel could have 
whispered to the Professor to make that happy 
suggestion without any understanding with him what- 
ever. As quick as thought Tom saw the opportune 
moment had arrived. To wait longer would be to 
pass the flood-tide, and he at once cried out, " Graham, 
Graham," as the Professor took his seat. The other 
boys chimed in with calls for Graham, while the audi- 
ence turned around, looking alternately at Jacob 
Graham and then at the boys. Tom caught the situa- 
tion at once and exclaimed, ' 'Walter Graham, the young 
man, we mean." 

Mr. Williamson rapped for attention and said in a 
very inspiring manner, ' ' Walter, there seems to be a 
general call for you, I hope you will not decline." It 
must be said for Walter, that in all his months of prepa- 
ration and waiting for this opportunity, he never felt 
as much like backing out as he had in those moments 
immediately preceding this call, when he witnessed his 
highly esteemed old friend, and his respected teacher, 
both modestly declining. And he thought what pre- 
sumption it would seem for him to rush in where they 
had refused ; but the sincere and sympathetic voice of 
Mr. Williamson produced instantly a slight counter- 
current in the region of his heart, stimulated also by 
the thought, what infirmity of purpose it would show 
to flinch now. As he arose, with considerable diffi- 
dence, to approach the stand, he received the most 
effectual nervine that could have been administered, 
from a group of Democratic boys on the other side of 
the. room. He heard the voice of Bill Boyle .say, as he 
walked past, "Don't burst yourself, Walt." Sam. 



102 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Long said, "Don't go too deep into Greece and Rome." 
Jack Matson chimed in, "Don't go farther back than 
tlie Assyrian Empire.'.' Mr. Williamson rapped for 
order. Walter now ascended the platform with his 
combativeness sufficiently aroused to banish all fear 
of failure and addressed the meeting substantially, as 
follows ; 

" Mr. President and fellow citizens: I have been ad- 
monished not to go too far back into ancient history. 
I trust, however, that I shall get far enough back in 
modern historj', into the history of our own country', to 
expose the principles and purposes of the Democratic 
party." (Applause.) These words, uttered in clear, 
sonorous tones, captured his audience from the start 
and commanded the attention of the Democratic boys. 
They could have poked no fun at him more in conso- 
nance with the line of thought on which he had long 
since prepared his speech, or given him a better oppor- 
tunity to turn a point with effect. Continuing, he said, 
" That purpose sir, as I shall show, is to make slaverj' 
national; to enforce its existence everywhere within 
the borders of the United States. That is the Democ- 
racy that is now represented by Breckenridge, and by 
the South. In proof of this, just let a few historical 
facts 'be submitted to a candid world.' Did not the 
South oppose the ordinance of 1787, prohibiting the in- 
troduction of .slavery into the Southwestern Terri- 
tories? Did not the rejection of that part of the 
measure give to the slave power the new slave States 
of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi ? 
Did that look as if the institution was going to die out 
of itself, as our fathers had hoped ? Did not the pur- 
chase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803 add to the 



shocktown's last rally. 103 

slave power the States of Louisiana and Arkansas ? 
Did not that look as if it was the purpose of the South 
to push the institution everywhere ? Did not the Mis- 
souri Compromise in 1820 give them the State of Mis- 
souri and grant them the right to introduce slavery 
into all the existing territory south of the line of lati- 
tude 36° and 30' ? Was not that making slavery one 
of the recognized institutions of the country about as 
fast as possible? Did not the South and the Demo- 
cratic party wrench from Mexico b}^ the war of 1846 
the State of Texas for the aggrandizement of the slave 
power, and acquire a vast extent of new territory over 
which they refused the protection of freedom by re- 
jecting the Wilmot Proviso ? And did not the South 
and the Democratic party finally make a bold demand in 
1854 for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, the 
very measure for which they had contended so stoutly 
thirty years before, because they now saw that it stood 
in the way of the further spread of slavery? And have 
they not succeeded in repealing it, and passing the 
Kansas-Nebraska Bill ? And are they not now trying 
with might and main to force the institution of slavery 
down the throats of the unwilling people of Kansas ? But 
in this, thank God, my fellow citizens, they will never 
succeed. They have met a different kind of mortal 
in Kansas than they had anticipated. They have met 
freemen who have bid the slave-holders, ' go back 
and show your slaves how chivalric you are, and 
make your bondmen tremble, but don't come here.' 
Is it any wonder, then, that our Democratic friends 
are a little anxious that we don't go too deep into 
the history, and does it not prove that it is their 
intention to make slavery national ? I know it is 



104 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

said there is a portion of the Democratic party, called 
Douglas Democrats, who pretend to say they are only 
contending for the right of the people of the territo- 
ries to decide for themselves whether they will have 
slavery or not ; that they don't care, as a question of 
right or wrong, whether slaverj' is introduced into the 
territories or not. But that position is not worth con- 
sidering ; it recognizes no principle in the question. 
Neither is this Bell-Kverett party worth considering m 
this campaign. They deal only in glittering generali- 
ties about ' the Union, the constitution, and the en- 
forcement of the laws.' All of us, I take it, are in favor 
of that, but you must come down to some definite 
opinion about the introduction or non-introduction of 
slaver}^ into the national territories. 

And Mr. President, and fellow citizens, what I 
contend is this : There are but two parties to-day 
in this country who have any actual, well defined 
principle upon that question, the Republican party 
and the Democratic part}- of the vSouth which is 
represented by Breckenridge. No man could illus- 
trate the po.sition more clearlj' to the American 
people than has our great standard bearer, Abraham 
Lincoln. Did he not tell them in his debates with 
Douglas that there was no middle position on the 
question, such as he trys to assume ? Mind howclearl}' 
Abraham Lii-coln puts it. I do not claim this 
as original with myself. Lincoln says substanti- 
ally this : 'A house divided against itself will not 
stand ; this controversy wnll not cease until there is 
slaver}- ever3'where, or none at all. I do not expect 
the hou.se to fall, I do not expect the Union to be 
destroyed, but I do expect one or the other of these 
institutions, freedom or slavery, to gain entire ascen- 



shocktown's last rally. 105 

dency over the other. Therefore, every citizen must 
ultimatel)' say whether he considers slaverj^ right, or 
w^hether he considers it wrong ; whether he prefers to 
see it introduced into the territories or prefers to see it 
excluded. He cannot evade the responsibility of the 
question, as Judge Douglas endeavors to do, by saying, 
' he don't care.' 

" Now," the South understood his proposition b}- 
decreeing, as a judicial principle, that they have a 
right to take slavery into the national territories, 
whether or no ; and they have gained their point by the 
Dred Scott decision. Now, sir, as our great candidate 
further asks Stephen A. Douglas, ' Of what use is 
his popular sovereignty doctrine if he admits the 
binding effect of the Dred Scott decision ? ' And j-ou 
will remember, fellow citizens, that Douglas has not 
answered that question yet. No, sir ; as our candidate 
further saj'S, ' What is to prevent the slave power from 
going one step farther and obtaining a judicial decree 
that a slave-holder may enter a free State with his 
slave as a matter of right ? And when that is done, 
is not slavery everywhere? ' And further, as Lincoln 
so clearly portrays, this has been the intention of 
the South from the start. He says : ' Suppose Stephen, 
and Franklin, and James, and Roger, would all go out 
into the woods to hew down and mortice separate sticks 
for a building, and when these timbers were all brought 
together it would be found that they exactly fit, 
wouldn't you naturally suppose that Stephen, and 
Franklin, and James, and Roger, all understood each 
other ? ' Now, fellow citizens, I suppose you all see 
the point in the comparison. You see, Stephen A. 
Douglas introduced a Kansas-Nebraska Bill; then you 



106 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

see, Franklin Pierce approved it ; then you see, James 
Buchanan suggested, in his first inaugural, that we have 
a decision of the Supreme Court on the question of 
the constitutional right of the slave-holder to take his 
slaves into the territories, and then you see, in a few 
months, we had the ' Dred Scott Decision ' by Roger B. 
Taney. 

" Now, 3'ou see, my fellow citizens, the only waj'^ 
to resist the aggressions of the .slave power is to have 
a party founded on the great principle that it is 
opposed to the introduction of slavery into the 
territories, because it believes it to be wrong, and 
because it believes that Congress has the constitu- 
tional power to prohibit its introduction into any of 
the territories, and to refuse to admit any more slave 
States into the Union. Such, sir, is the great broad 
and impregnable principle upon which the Republican 
party is founded, on which it will march to certain 
victory, next Tuesday, under the leadership of Abraham 
lyincoln, a man who stands to-day as the highest type 
of the self-made American citizen ; a man who knows 
how to make a good rail, define a great constitutional 
question, or grace the Presidential chair ; a man who 
will keep waving the symbol of peace, of union, and 
of harmony over this great and mighty union ; a man, 
although I do not wish to use the language of extrava- 
gance, who stands this day and hour as the mightiest 
name on the continent of North America ' ' 

Walter now retired amid the hearty applause of the 
audience. Mr. Williamson took him by the hand and 
gave him his .sincere congratulations. The Republican 
boys said it could not have been better, and even the 
Democratic boys smiled pleasantly and said, " You did 



SHOCKTOWN'S I.AST RALLY. 107 

well, Walt." As he walked home he heard two men 
behind the store, unhitching their horses, discussing 
it. One said, " That boy of Jake Graham's is a pretty 
smart boy now, if he don't get too conceited." To 
which the other replied, "Yes, but don't you suppose 
he had that all studied up ?" The former replied, " Oh, 
I suppose he had, but then it is not ev^ery boy 
who could do it that well, even then ; it shows 
there is something in him. I am not much for 
making boys conceited and spoiling them with educa- 
tion, but I believe, in this case his father ought almost 
to send him through college." " If I were his father," 
replied the other, ' ' I would let him go on as far as he 
wanted with his education, if he earned it himself. I 
would not help him with money, though." 

The next morning, as Walter sat in church, he 
caught Amelia Kerr's eye across the aisle and she 
smiled approvingly at him. After services were over 
she paused long enough under the old oak tree to shake 
hands cordially with him and say, " I must congratu- 
late you, Walter, on your effort. I have heard it com- 
mented on very favorably. I thought we would hear 
from you before the campaign was over. Oh, yes, I 
must tell you further ; I had a letter from cousin 
Annie the other day. She inquired about the two very 
gallant young men she had so much pleasure in meet- 
ing at our house." 

As he withdrew from this shower of smiles and drove 
home under their benignant influence, reflecting still 
further over the numeroas compliments he had received, 
it would not have been a startling freak of nature, 
indeed, if Walter had "bursted." Perhaps that phe- 
nomenon was averted by what natural common sense 
he could yet command, or by the occasional recollec- 



108 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tion of the mixed compliment he had overheaid behind 
the store, that " He would be a jiretty smart boy now 
if he did not get too conceited." 

His vanity was further touched the next morning 
at school, as a group of the girls joined in a congrat- 
ulatory circle about him. Maggie Bernard's smile, 
he thought, had none of its usual suppressed con- 
tempt, as she said, " Indeed, Walt., we are not joking ; 
all the people that heard your speech speak well of it. 
Father and Mart, both said it was just as good as 
that of any of the men they heard." Walter had re- 
solved during the night to keep his head in its proper 
place, but again he felt it beginning to reel. Maggie 
Bernard always was a pretty girl, he said to himself. 
No person had ever yet pronounced her homely, not 
even himself, in his process of casting her off; his mind 
had never written for her epitaph, " ugly." Neither of 
her sisters could compare with her in beauty. As for 
her reserved father and brother, he could certainly mark 
down a compliment from them as coming from an un- 
expected quarter, and therefore, he concluded, sincere. 
He might after all, he thought to himself, have 
judged the Bernards too severely, now that he suddenly 
remembered that none of the family had ever given him 
any direct insult, and had always treated him with 
the same formal politeness; and perhaps Maggie should 
be excused for a little haughtiness, when he considered 
the number of admirers she had for one of her years. 

But the hour of his humiliation was close at hand. 
After dinner, as he returned to school, Bob Long 
held in his hand a copy of the Sharwood Age (the 
Democratic organ of Jefferson Count}'), and called out, 
" Hallo, Walter, here is a copy of your speech in the 
paper." Walter and the other boys gathered around 



shocktown's last rally. 109 

while Bob read from the columns of the Ag-e the 
following account of the meeting at which Walter had 
won such a reputation as an orator : 

" Grand Fizzle. — The black RepubHcans of Adams 
Township had made elaborate preparations for a last 
grand rally at Shocktovvn on Saturda}' night. But the 
failure becoming so evident, the speakers for the occasion 
had either been advised not to put in ah appearance or 
else were kept hid in the back-ground. About eight 
o'clock there were, all told, about twenty-five men, boys, 
and dogs, gathered about Miller's cooper shop, when 
the old fanatic, John Williamson, was called to the 
chair. He regretted to state that they had been dis- 
appointed in their speakers and hoped Professor Sam'l 
Baker could favor them with a few remarks. But that 
gentleman very modestly declined, whereupon a very 
fresh young man by the name of Graham volunteered 
to address the meeting. He mounted a pile of old rub- 
bish and harangued the dozen people who stayed to 
listen for about fifteen minutes, in which time he man- 
aged to recite his school history of the United States 
from the Declaration of Independence down to the 
present time ; quoted largely from Shakespeare and 
repeated Lincoln's buffoonry in his debates with 
Douglas, which he called great logic, and concluded 
by saying that if Lincoln was elected he would 
grace the white-house yard. Being a good rail-splitter 
he would know how to keep the fences in order. 
Then the meeting scattered, being altogether a grand 
fizzle." 

The Democratic boys took a hearty laugh at the con- 
clusion of this article, while Walter, although consid- 
erably disconcerted, managed to say," That is about all 



110 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

you could expect from that dirty sheet." George Mil- 
ler said, with indignation, "And such a lot of lies ; it 
calls our carriage factory a cooper shop. ' ' Tom Swave 
said, "Oh, that vile paper could not report anything 
correctly if it would try. That article don't hurt us a 
bit more than a crow flying over our heads." Then, 
turning to Jake Hoover, he continued, "I guess your 
father or Jacob' Matson wrote that article ; which was 
it, Jake?" Jake replied he did not know. "It gives 
you a pretty good raking up, anyhow, whoever did it." 
The boys all scattered now with a good-natured "let 
us go on with our game of ball. School will call before 
we know what we are about." This they all did in 
good part, but all afternoon Walter could not dismiss 
from his mind how thoroughly he had been satir- 
ized. He concluded that Tom Swave's judgment was 
correct ; that it should be treated with silent contempt ; 
but yet that night he could not keep from asking his 
parents if papers had not been sued for less abusive 
articles. His father replied that " Fools generally take 
notice of such articles ; wise men bestow very little 
thought upon them." Mrs. Graham said, "Walter, 
that article may be of more benefit to you than if it 
had been one lauding your efforts. I cannot say but 
that I am glad it has appeared and that the Republican 
papers make no mention of the meeting." Mary and 
Sue both declared that "It was a mean, contemptible 
article, full of lies; that was what it was ; " and Joe 
now declared, with the full force of his ten summers, 
that he could " Knock the man giddy who wrote it," 
to which his mother replied, " There, there, Joe, that is 
rather large talk from such a small man." 

As Walter lay in bed that night, reviewing the 



shocktown's last rally. Ill 

whole aifair in liis mind, long before his eyelids closed 
in sleep he came to the conclusion that his speech in 
the great campaign had not staggered the nation. He 
felt confident that the morrow was to bring forth the 
election of Lincohi, although he could not but remem- 
ber how hopeful he had been four years before ; and it 
made him sometimes tremble now for the moment. He 
had too much intelligence left, not to saj^ self-possession, 
to misread the minds of his parents in their indiffer- 
ence about what he had been considering his great 
success, and their failure to become indignant at the 
libellous article of the ^g'c. He knew they had 
always taught him to have a proper respect for his own 
individuality of character, and that this was only 
meant as a wholesome rebuke to the ambition that they 
knew was now firing his brain. All the next day at 
school he could hardly be as buoyant as he would have 
liked to be, although he had resolved to use philos- 
ophy and forget the past. He saw Mr. Wagner slip 
across to the polls to vote for Douglas, during the 
noon hour, as he had from the old public school, four 
years ago, to vote for Buchanan, and Walter thought, he 
ishalf way a Republican now. He saw the bleak Novem- 
ber day close in, as he had four years ago. He walked 
over to the village after supper with his father, as he did 
not four years before. While he felt his own mind more 
matured than four years ago, he was satisfied that his 
father was more hopeful. The lamps burned low 
across the street at the drug store, the Democratic 
headquarters of the village, and Repi:blicans, who 
were gathering in at Swave's .store, had every reason 
to be hopeful. The first click of the wire indicated 
that Pennsylvania was solid. Some of the villagers 



112 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

had driven over to Mansdale to gather the more satis- 
factory returns. Walter and his father returned home 
by half-past ten, the latter saying to Mrs. Graham, as 
he went to bed, " I ])elieve I can sleep without a fear." 
But, notwithstanding, he and Walter were both up 
early in the morning. As they were out at the barn, 
doing the morning chores, Sam. Long drove past with 
the butcher wagon, as he had done four years before, 
but he stopped this time to tell Walter and his father, 
"You may hurrah for Lincoln now, Walter; I guess 
you have got us this time." And in answer to Mr. 
Graham's question, as to what he had that was reliable, 
he replied, "Oh, father and Dave Miller and several 
others left Mansdale after one o'clock. They all agree 
Lincoln is elected." 

Walter Graham started off to school that morning 
with all the ecsta.S5^ of victory. No fearful forebodings 
filled his mind as they had four years before. For the 
moment he had forgotten all about the episode of his 
speech. He received a pleasant reminder of it as he met 
Mr. Wagner passing into the school-house, who smiled 
so kindly to him and said, " Well, Walter, I guess your 
speech must have done it." But neither he nor Walter 
saw how distinct an epoch had been marked in a 
nation's history. They of course saw that sixty years 
of almost unbroken reign of the Democratic party was 
now to be interrupted, but to their eyes was not re- 
vealed that day the far reaching consequence of that 
event ; nor did Jacob Graham and his devoted wife 
know how near at hand were the weary days when 
they would long to say, "We can lie down to-night 
without a fear." 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE GA THE RING STORM. 

ATO sooner had the result of the election been defi- 
-^^ nitely ascertained, and the people of the South 
fully realized that the party of total exclusion of slav- 
ery in the territories had triumphed, than they began 
to take council among themselves as to what course 
they should pursue. The Republican cry of victory 
throughout the North had scarcely died in the echo 
until their jubilant voices were changed to whispers of 
suppressed alarm. Science had been teaching Walter 
that the precursors of the natural earthquake some- 
times resembled the sound of distant thunder. He laid 
his ear close to political terra firma, and thought he 
heard the rumbling far away in the direction of the 
South. Sometimes he thought the verj^ heart of the 
storm centre was located in the city of Charleston. 
How far it would extend, what proportions it would 
assume, what would be done to avert it, and what 
should be done to avert it, were the questions now be- 
ing pondered and considered by older heads than his 
own. 

Walter heard these questions discussed in the home 
circle, at his school, and at the lyceum at the village 
debates, and at the public meetings, at the village 
store and at his father's mill, at public sales and from 
the pulpit. Yes, Mr. Hartley generall}- prayed that 
' ' The voice of moderation and the counsels of wisdom 



114 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

might prevail throughout all sections of our vast coun- 
try, and our glorious Union be preserved intact." How 
strange were the words which came to Walter's ears 
from a convention claiming to be the sovereign State 
of South Carolina, that the Union was dissolved. How 
he read the accounts of other vStates going through the 
same performance ; of their preliminar}^ steps for the 
formation of a government of their own, whose "cor- 
ner-stone was slaver3^'" Some little cant was made 
about State rights, but it was very little. Few indeed 
were deceived as to the real cause. Even the weak, 
expiring administration betrayed its consciousness of 
that when it said," The violent and intemperate agita- 
tion of the slavery question on the part of the North 
has now produced its natural results." Mr. Buchanan 
knew well enough what was the matter. He was only 
anxious to place the entire responsibility on the 
North. Severe critics have even charged him with a 
deliberate purpose to make the road to rebellion easy 
by declaring, ' ' That he saw no constitutional power 
to prevent the secession of a State. ' ' 

Walter Graham, although not a constitutional law- 
yer, thought this proposition monstrous, not to say a 
fine subtilty. This opinion was probably the one held 
by a majority of the North, but as to the first assertion 
he could not but observe Buchanan had a large follow- 
ing ; a considerable portion of the people seemed dis- 
posed to hold the North largely accountable. They 
were willing, at least, to make some concession to 
avert an awful catastrophe. Capital and commerce, 
always conservative, could be safely relied upon to 
espouse the cause of compromise. Their effusions 
broke out in large mass meetings in the large cities of 



THE GATHERING STORM. 115 

the North, composed largelj- of large merchants and 
large capitalists, with large bank accounts-, which con- 
tributed largely in sending the cold chills down the 
backs of many of those who had been considered tried 
and trusted leaders in the cause of freedom, and 
threatened for the moment the surrender of all that 
had been gained in the contest, producing a feeling 
of intense solicitude in the minds of those who stood 
for maintaining their ground, firm as the rock-bound 
coast when it beats back the ocean billows. 

Mr. Williamson had said to Walter and his father, 
at the village meeting and on all occasions, that " The 
Republican party never was in greater peril than it is 
at this moment. No man will ever be put to a more 
crucial test than Abraham Lincoln. I will bear with 
timidity, with caution, if his conclusions are ultimatel}' 
right, and he is firm in the end ; but I am as thor- 
oughly convinced as I can be convinced of anything, 
that to surrender one inch of ground now gained is to 
postpone the cause of freedom for the next two hun- 
dred years." 

Walter saw Congress assembled that Winter amid 
these conflicting emotions of passion and fear. He saw 
the Southern Senators and Representatives, one by one, 
take their departure from those halls uttering sulky 
and defiant words. He almost wondered sometimes 
whether these men were the injured parties and 
whether they really believed what they said. When he 
read the utterance of Judah P. Benjamin, as he bade 
farewell to the Senate, "Better a thousand times the 
wildest anarchy, aye the flimsiest gossamer that ever 
glittered in the morning dew, than bands of iron or 
shackles of steel, with the hope, with the chance of one 



116 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

hour's inspiration of the glorious breath of freedom, 
than ages of the hopeless bondage to which our ene- 
mies would reduce us." True, Walter said rather sar- 
castically, that he supposed the bondage Mr. Benjamin 
alluded to was the restriction which might prevent 
him from holding other men in bondage; but, neverthe- 
less, the utterance in the abstract read to him like impas- 
sioned eloquence. Would the world be misled by it ? 
That was the question now. 

He saw Jefferson Davis rise in his seat and protest 
against the government "Taking any action to fortify 
and maintain its forts, because it might precipitate 
action on the part of the South." He wondered if 
the North was so stupid as not to see through that re- 
mark, and if they were weak enough to obey it. He 
heard Senator Wigfall, of Texas, rise and say sub- 
stantially, "These Northern men are miserable crea- 
tures ; if you hold up the rod of chastisement they 
will tremble and turn pale, and at the first light stroke 
they go down and bite the very dust." He read of 
proposed compromises flying around in Washington as 
thick as butterflies on a June day, the most conspicu- 
ous of which was labelled " Crittenden." The imminent 
danger of its adoption was what alarmed him, his 
father, and Mr. Williamson, as they saw the pliant 
knees of Northern Representatives bending all around. 
It was high time, they thought, for the real leaders of 
the Republican party to assert themselves. Gruff" old 
Ben. Wade, of Ohio, was the first to break the silence 
in the Senate. He said, in substance, "That he could 
not look upon the proposition of compromise without 
a smile ; since he had been a member of this body he 
had seen the most sacred of them all swept away by 



THE GATHERING STORM. 117 

the hands of those who now asked virtually for its re-es- 
tablishment. No, sir, we went before the country with 
our candidate and principles ; 5'ou went before the 
country wnth yours. And after your doing your best and 
we doing our best, we beat you; and, sir, we have nothing 
to concede or to compromise. We will inaugurate our 
President and enforce the laws even if your darling in- 
stitution has to go under, for the Union, the Constitu- 
tion and the time-honored old flag shall live forever," 
He saw the " Old Commoner " from Pennsylvania, 
who had returned now to the House to assume its 
leadership, rise in his place with knit eyebrows and 
compressed lips, and speaking as one having authority, 
bid the tidal wave retreat. Threats about secession 
and war gave him no alarm. He said in substance, 
" If the South were mad enough to rush into war, that 
would be the annihilation of their institution. The 
issue would simply be to leave us a nation purged of 
the curse of slaverj'." The clearness of his mental 
vision was like unto that of Alexander H. Stephens, 
of Georgia, who warned his people of the same result. 
The Tribime came to the rescue, by declaring to its 
readers, that " the adoption of this Crittenden Compro- 
mise would be a victory for the enemy more brilliant 
than any they had ever dared to hope for; and our vic- 
tory would be a defeat more humiliating than any we 
had ever feared." These sentiments served as a whole- 
some antidote to Walter for the vague uncertainties 
and fine sentences which covered ideas in Seward's 
utterances, such as, "Speaking for the Union, and pay- 
ing for the Union, and praying for the Union. And as 
prayer brings men nearer to God, although it cannot 
move Him towards us, perhaps every word of concili- 



118 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

atioii spoken in favor of the Union might have its 
healing effect," all of which seemed like very nice 
rhetoric, as Professor Baker had the boj'S read it one 
afternoon in school ; but of which, the Professor him- 
self admitted when done, that he was not quite certain 
as to what Mr. Seward's position was on the question 
of compromise. And Walter was not quite sure that 
Seward had not fallen a little in the estimation of both 
the Professor and himself. 

As the process of disintegration kept going steadily 
on and secession assumed more and more the attitude 
of rebellion, some effort was made on the part of the 
loyal members of Buchanan's cabinet to strengthen his 
feeble knees and hold up his palsied hand, to do 
something that might at least seem like the semblance 
of an effort to preserve the nation's authority. But it 
was too late or too feeble to prevent the President-elect 
from having to crawl into Washington by stealth for 
the purpose of being inaugurated, or being openly 
assassinated on the way. All this Walter looked upon 
as a deep humiliation and disgrace. 

There might be no excuse, and perhaps should be 
some apology as it is, for tarrying even this long in a 
novel to allude to events which have already been 
elaborated upon by legions, and are destined to be the 
theme of thousands more, but for the fact that Walter 
Graham happened to be born at the time he was (a 
fact for which he cannot be held accountable), it is 
only fair to him now to say that in giving a narrative 
of his life some little account should be taken of those 
events, some faint idea given of what impression they 
made upon his mind. Perhaps he himself was not 
aware of the fact that he was passing through one of 



THE GATHERING STORM. 119 

the most eventful periods of the world's history. Per- 
haps he did not fully realize that down the long path- 
way of nations' histories no legislative body had ever 
been the scene of more earnest debate, or more forensic 
eloquence, than the American Congress had been 
for the past ten years. Perhaps he was ignorant 
of the fact that his country was the theatre of 
the most dramatic scenes that ever preceded a 
national convulsion, unless indeed the early stages 
of the French Revolution should be excepted. But 
certain it was, as he passed the historic winter of i860 
and '61 at Professor Baker's academ}^ as day by day, 
and week by week, he saw the storm clouds gather 
thicker and thicker and heard the thunder-peal draw 
nearer and nearer, it was no easy matter for him to 
keep his mind down to his studies with that assiduity 
of purpose he had resolved upon at the opening of the 
term. But nevertheless he stuck to it sufficiently well to 
win his prize, to take the honors of his class and to de- 
liver the valedictory address on the subject of the 
hour — "The Federal Union." To do this, indeed re- 
quired more resolution than might be supposed. Con- 
sidering his proneness for public affairs, it caused him 
more self-denial than it would have done if the situa- 
tion had admitted of any relaxing of his efforts ; 
for around him were dangerous contestants, the most 
dangerous of all he knew quite well was his friend Tom 
Swave. Walter knew that to pause too long was but to 
let Tom make a brilliant charge and gain ground that 
might not be recovered. If Tom lacked any element 
of success in this race which Walter possessed, it was 
simply fixedness of purpose and capabilit}' for hard 
work. On that thread alone Walter instinctively knew 
hung the fate of his cause. 



120 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

The ardor of his nature was tempted on all sides. 
Cupid's dart, capable of piercing through all other 
emotions, would not be entirely still, ev'en at his 
most resolute bidding. He staggered a little under 
the wound, as he actually declined several invi- 
tations on behalf of the girls to attend evening 
sociables, on the ground that he was going to 
abandon all social duties until after school closed. He 
was stunned still more one Saturday evening when 
Henry Kerr, Amelia, and their cousin Annie, drove up 
to the hou.se to return the pleasant visit they had re- 
ceived the previous summer. This was not all by acci- 
dent either. Mary and Sue had invited Amelia to 
bring Miss Lesher over to see them the next time .she 
came to the country, and accordingl}- Amelia sent a 
note to the girls that cousin Annie was going to spend 
a few days with them the la.st of the week, and if it 
was agreeable she would be pleased to make them a 
visit on Saturday evening. The girls replied that they 
would be delighted to have them come, and obtained 
permission from their mother to invite a few friends, 
and if all went well and smooth, old Zebediah Monks 
might drop in with his violin about half-past eight. 
They could have such a nice select little sociable and 
dance combined, and the fun of it was it would all be a 
surprise to Walter. 

The rap at the door was responded to by Sue, with 
the alacrit}' of one in expectanc}'. The}- were ushered 
in, partly by both the girls and Mrs. Graham, who was 
introduced to Miss L,esher by Amelia, with her usual 
comeliness, and then to Mr. Graham, after which Wal- 
ter, advancing from his corner, met Miss Annie advan- 
cing with quick vivacity of step toward him, exclaim- 



THE GATHERING STORM. 121 

ing, "How do you do? How do you, Mr. Graham? 
You never come to town to see your friends, so we have 
to come all the way here to see you, in mid winter." 
" Yes, yes," replied Walter, taking her extended hand, 
with a great eifort to assume the same easy, jocose man- 
ner, " that is right, that is right," and stumbling over a 
rocking chair as he retreated a little sidewise to make 
room for her to pass by. 

" Well, I am sure we will think it all right," was the 
quick response, "inasmuch as I was wondering 
whether I would have the pleasure of meeting the 
Graham family again, and here, sure enough, cousin 
Amelia told me, almost the first thing, that she had such 
a nice invitation for us to come over while I was here." 

"Well, yes," replied Walter, rather slower than be- 
fore, "I guess that was all right; in fact, I did not 
know anything about it." 

"Just listen, won't you?" exclaimed Miss Lesher. 
" Cousin Amelia and Henry, you must have played a 
huge joke on me. You said we had been invited out 
to spend the evening, and here the young gentleman 
of the house says he knows nothing of it." 

"Ah, there are a good many things," interposed 
Mary, "going on sometimes that Walter don't know 
about." 

' ' You need not be anxious or afraid about our invi- 
tation not being warm enough; need she, girls?" re- 
sponded Amelia, as she turned to Mary and Sue and 
Mrs. Graham, who was also smiling complacently. 

"Oh,, yes, I see," said Miss lyCsher. "You will 

have to make your daughters keep your sons better 

posted, Mrs. Graham. Do the}'' often pla}^ tricks on 

you, Walter?" she continued, turning to him. " Ex- 

6 



122 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

cuse me for calling you Walter, I have become so ac- 
customed to hearing all the rest do it." 

' ' You are quite excusable, Miss Lesher, ' ' replied 
Walter, " The fact is I am rather more accustomed my- 
self to Walter than to Mr. Graham." 

Henry spoke up saying, " Walter, you will have to 
take the same privilege with her then ; call her Annie." 

" Oh," rejoined Walter, "on the same principle she 
alleges, I would have to call her cousin Annie ; you 
folks always call her that. ' ' 

"Well, I do say, Walter," exclaimed Miss Lesher, 
" I did not know you v/ere so sarcastic. I think after 
this 3^ou will have to be allowed that privilege. I trust 
you will have no occasion to be ashamed of j^our new 
relation." 

"Oh, no," said Walter, "I think I will be highly 
complimented. I think 3'ou are getting a little sarcas- 
tic now, cousin Annie" (uttering the last words with 
a herculean effort). By this time they had all been 
cosily seated for .some minutes, and were plying questions 
thick and fast at one another. An air of unrestrained 
ease pervaded the little circle. Walter was thinking 
to himself, I don't believe she is pert after all ; and 
there is one thing certain, she is a girl of considerable 
intelligence. She now turned to him in the same quick, 
decisive way and asked, "What has become of your 
agreeable \'oung friend, Walter ? I had the pleasure 
of meeting him last summer. What is it his name 
is, Suasion? " 

"Swave, Swave," replied Walter. " Oh, he is about, 
and all right." 

Mary smiled a broad smile at this point and said, "Oh, 
he is often around. You might see him to-night 5'et, 



THE GATHERING STORM. 123 

there is no telling." "Swave," rejoined Miss Lesher ; 
' ' how did he ever get that name ; is he so full of suav- 
ity ? " "I don't know," said Walter, "whether that 
is the reason or not ; he don't spell it that wa}- at least." 
"At all events," said Amelia, "it seems he is around 
a good bit." At which Mary, all innocent of what her 
remark was construed to mean, blushed considerably, 
whereupon Miss Lesher said, " That remark is capable 
of two constructions, either the one Amelia hints at 
or that there are more surprises in store for 3^ou to- 
night ; which is it, Walter?" " I rather suspect there 
is more conspiracy going on," replied Walter. 

' ' I hope they are not as bad as those conspirators 
down South," rejoined Miss L,esher. " Hard to tell," 
said Walter, ' ' the disease ma}^ be spreading. ' ' The 
conversation here switched off on the all-absorbing 
question of secession, in which Miss Lesher still ex- 
hibited her same sprightl}- intelligence. Turning with 
a quick jerk to Walter, she said, "Do you actually 
think there will be a war 3'et on the head of this? " 

" I do not know," replied Walter. "Sometimes I 
think possibly it will all end in talk ; that they are 
just testing their theory of peacable secession. You 
know the North has always yielded to them so much; 
they think we will submit to anything. If Lincoln 
will simply take a firm stand when he gets in, for en- 
forcing the laws, it may be they will all back down as 
gracefully as they can. " " That is what father thinks, ' ' 
replied Miss Lesher. ' ' Sometimes he gets so disgusted 
he believes they are nothing but a set of blow-horns ; 
he don't believe there is any fight in them." "How 
is that? " queried Jacob Graham at this point. " Your 
father thinks there is no fiorht in them ?" 



124 WALTER G-RAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Yes," replied Miss Lesher, "he thinks all they 
need is a good settling down ; he says if old Jackson 
were President now, they would not be carrying on this 
way." 

Jacob Graham shook his head and said meditatively. 
" I suppose that is true ; what they need is a good set- 
tling down. I am only puzzled to know what it may 
cost to give them that. ' ' 

P'urther conversation on this theme was here inter- 
rupted by the arrival of other company, which was to 
complete the surprise to Walter. It consisted of Tom 
Swave, who was able now to present to Miss Lesher 
his older brother Frank., the three Bernard girls, Sam. 
Long and Bob, Joe Miller and George, and their sister 
Beckie. Mart. Bernard had excused himself on the 
ground that he was detained with a rebel cousin from 
North Carolina, who had just arriv*ed. Dave Miller 
and Jack Matson had both written the girls polite letters 
regretting their inability to be present; but, notwith- 
standing, what a nice, select little gathering it was. It 
was a kind of debut into society for the girls, and Mrs. 
Graham thought how much better it was to be right 
under her own roof than anywhere else. 

There were enough of them to keep going one plain 
quadrille, and even double on the lead sometimes, and 
leave a few to rest alternately. The company had just 
time enough for a little social intercourse and acquain- 
tance with Mi.ss lycsher, when old Zebediah appeared 
with his fiddle. The evening fled with joyous speed. 
Tom Swave and Joe Miller were masters of ceremony. 
Walter stepped with alacrity to the wit and vivacity ol 
Miss lyCsher. Amelia Kerr seemed to be as kind and 
accomplished as ever when he led her out on the floor. 



THE GATHERING STORM. 125 

Maggie Bernard's smile would still beam all evening, 
and would close with its latent contempt. It was 
nearly eleven o'clock, and the last set for the night, be- 
fore ever Walter asked her to dance with him. She of 
course accepted ; but Walter was not sure whether it 
was with a little disdain, or whether she was a little 
piqued that she had not been earlier asked. However, 
he had to admit to himself that she did move with 
great grace, and was decidedly the handsomest fig- 
ure on the floor that night. That could not be denied. 
She said to him quite friendly, "Walter, you must 
come over and see our rebel cousin from the South, 
while he is with us. ' ' He thanked her, saying, ' ' I 
would like to very much. I wish you would bring 
him over here. I know father w^ould like to meet him." 
Maggie replied, "I do believe I will get Mart, to do 
that." 

The company broke up after voting it a grand suc- 
cess. "Oh, cousin Annie, I guess you always enjoy 
yourself," said Walter. " Is she your cousin?" quer- 
ied Tom Swave, with some suspicion in his look. " Oh, 
no, not by relationship," replied Mi.ss lycsher quickly ; 
"but he is one of the privileged young men who 
always get .special privileges." Tom Swave's mind was 
sufficiently acute to read that some little joke lay back 
of this, and perhaps none of the company had been so 
obtuse as not to notice that Frank. Swave had been par- 
ticularly attentive to her all night, and that she had 
not specially resented his advances. 

Walter went to bed to dream over the night, to con- 
trast in his own mind the qualities of the three girls 
who he was obliged to admit had produced in his 
heart at different times a slight sensation ; he had now 
all before him on the same evening, and finally fell 



126 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

asleep wondering what Sonthern cousin Bernards had 
from North Carolina. As to that inqtiirj'^ he did not have 
long to wait, for the next Monday evening Mart. Ber- 
nard entered their sitting room with a young man, whom 
he introduced as Andrew Jackson Clinton, his cousin 
from North Carolina. He was a young man of the tall 
spare mould, apparently anywhere in age from twenty- 
two Ito twenty-five years. His locks were rather long, 
but his face was clean shaven. He seemed just a little 
brusque in his manner, although he spoke in the most 
courteous wa)-, and invited the most frank discussion 
of all matters at variance between the two sections of 
the country, as he was being seated. To which Mr. 
Graham replied, as he laid away his overcoat and in- 
vited him to draw nearer the stove, " I suppose from 
that, your Northern relatives are taking you around 
as a kind of exponent of Southern sentiment." " No, 
sir, I don't know that I am that," replied Mr. Clinton. 
' ' I have been brought here rather by Mart. , as he has 
told me, to see the typical Northern man, a man who 
superintends his own business, works with his own 
hands, brings his children up trained in the same wa}'. 
I am sure, Mr. Graham, the two sections of our country 
have occasion now^ to learn all the}' can of each other. 
If I can gain anything from personal observation during 
this, my hurried business trip, I shall consider myself 
greatly benefitted." Mr. Graham said, "I thank you 
certainly for your invitation to be frank and unreserved 
in all our remarks, and I suppose it brings us directly 
to the point we are most concerned about : What is 
the actual condition of .sentiment in the two .sections of 
the country at this moment ? Your remarks suggest a 
question which I will ask right now. Are you sure 



THE GATHERING STORM 127 

that you could invite me to the same full and unre- 
served expression of all my sentiments if I were with 
you in your own home to-night in North Carolina, in- 
stead of where you are ? ' ' 

"Yes, sir," replied Mr. Clinton, raising his thin, 
spare hand and finger in gesticulation, "you could 
utter any opinion you entertained on any subject 
(provided it was couched in respectful language), 
in my home to-night, or in my father's home, more 
properly speaking, or in the parlor of any South- 
ern gentleman in North Carolina, that you can here in 
your own. That, sir, is a mistaken idea j^ou people of 
the North entertain, that a Southern gentleman will 
molest any man for his opinions in the South. Of 
course, if they will use no discretion in their utterances 
about hotels and in public places, where they are 
likely to be repeated in the presence of the slaves them- 
selves, and taken up by irresponsible fellows who make 
a trade of politics, perhaps we could not always be re- 
sponsible for results. No, in short, it is only the public 
discussion of those questions that the South objects to. 
In the parlor of the Southern gentleman you have 
nothing to fear." 

' ' Your answer, I must say, is frank and satisfactory, ' ' 
replied Mr. Graham ; "more so indeed than I had ex- 
pected. It contains a confession of a weakness I had 
not looked for." "Well," exclaimed Mr. Clinton, 
" do you pretend to say that is a different situation of 
affairs from what exists in the North ? Do you say, Mr. 
Graham, that I can go across to the hotel in your vil- 
lage to-night and make a harrangue to the rabble, 
uttering the extremest Southern views, and escape un- 
harmed." "Well, sir," rejoined Mr. Graham, "ex- 



128 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tienie as the case is which you suppose, I believe you 
could. What you might do in case it comes to actual 
war, that is another question." 

"Then," said Mr. Clinton, " if you are correct in 
your estimate, the character of your lower classes is 
different, simply because your institutions are such as 
not to threaten you with momentary insurrections or 
violence from open discussion. And if you reply that 
we have no right to have such institutions, or that we 
ought to get rid of them, I can only say we have found 
them among us in the South, and that section alone was 
not responsible for it in the beginning." "Just so," 
said Mr. Graham, " the last part of your answer is per- 
haps entitled to some consideration ; and I take it that 
we understand each other now on that branch of the 
question, as well as we would by longer discussion. 
Allow me then to ask you another question. Are you 
actually in earnst about this matter of secession ? Do 
you actually mean to resist the authority of the na- 
tional government, and do the majority of the people 
of the South actually propose secession ? or, is there 
actually no Union sentiment among you.?" 

Straightening himself up in his chair, raising his 
two white hands to the sides of his face and ears, and 
passing them up through his well-kempt hair until the 
fingers of the two hands had interlocked each other, 
then drawing them back a little behind the ears and 
down to the top of his neck and bringing each down 
on the arms of his chair, with some emphasis, he said, 
"That question, Mr. Graham, I trust I shall answer 
with equal candor. I can answer it best perhaps by 
speaking from my own feelings in my own heart for the 
old flag. I can conceive of nothing but that dire neces- 



THK GATHERING STORM. 129 

sity, which makes revohition justifiable in all cases, that 
will warrant the South in open rebellion. I am not 
sure but that my feelings are the feelings of quite a re- 
spectable minority of our people at least. But on the 
other hand, you can readily see how the South must 
naturally feel on the question of the absolute denial of 
their rights in the national territories ; of their share 
to an equal portion thereof, and of the entire disregard, 
not to say defiance, of the fugitive slave law by the 
Northern people, and of the personal liberty bills by 
the Northern States. If that is to be the policy of the 
government from this forward, then it is not to be 
wondered that the South feel they have nothing to 
gain by remaining under it. They may as well with- 
draw from it." 

"Mr. Clinton," replied Mr. Graham, "conceding 
ever)' premise that you lay down, or viewing the ques- 
tion entirely from your standpoint, that the policy of 
the government is hereafter to be a denial of what j'ou 
call your rights in the national territories and a laxity 
of sentiment on the part of the North in the enforce- 
ment of the fugitive slave law, how are you to better 
your situation b}- forming a separate government? " 

"Your question, Mr. Graham, as to what will be 
gained by separation is the one that gives us pause," 
said Mr. Clinton. "Added to that, filial affection for 
that old flag to which I have already alluded, makes 
some of us desire to go slow. I am considered at home 
a Union man and entirely too conservative, but I am 
stating this question to you, Mr. Graham, as I see it in 
its logical bearings, and in that view of it, it must be 
admitted that those we are now calling hot heads in 
either section are nearest right. That is to say, if 



180 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

there never can be peace between the two sections we 
may as well separate in peace. Your irrepressible con- 
flict doctrine in fact is not original with you. John C. 
Calhoun promulgated it twenty years in advance of 
Mr. Seward." "Yes," replied Mr. Graham, "with 
this distinction : Calhoun always associated with it 
the idea that the conflict can be avoided by peaceable 
secession, as you term it. We, of the North, look 
upon that as a delusion. This now brings me back to 
a part of my original question. Are you going to 
resist the general government ; in short, are you going 
to fight if the incoming administration refuses to sit 
tamely by and permit it?" "Cannot answer your 
question, sir; can't answer your question," responded 
Mr. Clinton. "I can only say for my own part, I 
dread seeing the two sections of our country plunged 
into a civil war." "Perhaps you are only trying to 
scare the North," remarked Walter at this point; 
" perhaps you think that by bluster and secession or- 
dinances the North will back down and let you go." 

"To be perfectly frank with you, young man, there 
may be some people in the South who entertain that 
idea, but I fear the}- are hugging a delusion," was the 
reply. 

"Well," said Waltsr, "that is what some of the 
people of the North think of the South. I heard a 
young lady say not many nights ago, that the South 
was nothing but a set of blow-horns. She did not be- 
lieve there was a bit of fight in them. She thought if 
the man, whose name you bear, were President, there 
would be but little talk of secession." 

"Yes, well," replied Clinton, with a grim smile, " I 
am very much obliged to that young lady for her 



THE GATHERING STORM. 131 

opinion of the Southern people. You may give her 
my compliments, and, while I do not blame her for her 
opinion, I can simply say, she must have read the his- 
tory of our people wrong if she impeaches their cour- 
age. As for my name, I have been twitted a good deal 
about it since I came North, but it is with that as 
with slavery, I am not responsible for it. And, besides, 
our young lady friend should remember that it was 
a Southern name — one, at least, that was never charged 
with lack of courage." 

"I suppose," replied Walter, "the opinion she en- 
tertains of the South is not so very different from that 
which the South entertains of the North. You know, 
only a year ago Governor Wise said, in a public speech, 
that he could take ten Southern men and drive a whole 
regiment of Northern creatures back into Canada." 

"Young man," exclaimed Clinton (this being the 
term by which he addressed Walter all evening), 
" Governor Wise may be as badly mistaken as the 
young lad3\ You hav^e read in your books, no doubt, 
a great deal of sentiment about Greek meeting Greek. 
I have a much greater dread just now of Saxon meeting 
Saxon ; American meeting American. If I am not 
mightily mistaken, it will take more than ten men to 
drive a regiment like yourself back into Canada." 

" Yes, yes," replied Mr. Graham, thoughtfully, "you 
are quite right in your views of this talk ; talk is 
cheap.' ' 

The conversation now drifted off into a general 
social form, and they parted about ten o'clock, ex- 
tending quite cordial invitations to visit each other 
again if ever chance brought them together. Mart. 
Bernard remarked, as they were leaving, "Well, 



132 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Audrew, I have certainly done my part, and brought 
you to see the typical Northern man." 

After they had left. Sue asked, " How is it they are 
cousins?" To which Mrs. Graham replied, "Mrs. 
Bernard's sister married this young man's father— a 
Mr. Clinton, from the South. You remember some- 
thing about it, don't you, Jacob?" 

"Yes, I remember it," replied Jacob; " they made 
some kind of investments down there, or some of the 
family." 

Walter passed through all these experiences and 
reached safely the end of the school term, as has been 
stated, but as he sat, one evening, in the old sitting 
room, about the first of April, after all was over, his 
mind turned to Clinton's visit, and he remarked to the 
rest of the family, " I wonder what has become of our 
rebel friend that was here to visit us." 

" Oh, I guess he is down at his home," replied his 
father, "in pretty hot water, from what Joseph Ber- 
nard told me only to-day. I guess there is a conflict 
of interests among them in their business. There is 
another Northern family down there, it appears. Ber- 
nard thinks there is a kind of storm gathering." 

" Yes, and it is going to burst some of the.se days," 
replied Mrs. Graham. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE MORTON FAMILY. 

TT was the last Saturday of March, 1861. The day 
^ maintained the reputation of the month. In the 
morning it blew ; at ten o'clock it snowed ; at eleven 
o'clock it hailed ; at twelve o'clock the sun came out ; 
at one o'clock it rained ; at two o'clock it sleeted ; at 
three o'clock the sun presented itself again ; at four 
o'clock it was again hid in the mist. Whatever else 
may be said of you, old calumniated and slandered 
March, let no man sa}- that you lack variety in the 
spices with which you season the weather. Let those 
people who like a variegation of colors in their gar- 
ments, a diversity of employment in their business and 
a change in all things, bow down and worship at your 
shrine, rather than pour execrations on your head. 
Why speak of you, old March, as something harsh and 
hard ? Was there not something soft and tender in the 
short intervals with which the sun broke the rule of 
rain and snow and sleet that day, and let his mellow 
beams fall down on the south side of the barn and mill ? 
Surely, old mother earth was in her softest mood, for 
there was scared}' a foot of ground all around the re- 
gion of Graham's buildings that would not have 
yielded more or less to the weight of Walter's foot, not 
even excepting the matted turf which covered the front 
yard. To be sure, this condition of things was described 
bj' the horrid word mud, rather than some more romantic 



184 WALTER CxRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

name ; but all the same it was certainly meant in kind- 
ness ; nor had nature dispensed her bounty with a nig- 
gard hand, for there was mud in the path to the 
mill, there was mud in the path to the barn, there was 
mud around the front of the mill, there was mud at the 
rear of the wagon-shed, there was mud at the cabbage 
hole in the garden, there was mud at the apple hole in 
the orchard, there was mud to the front of them, mud 
to the rear of them, mud to the right of them, mud to 
the left of them ; but it neither volleyed nor poured, it 
neither thundered nor roared. It was perfectly quiet, 
wonderfully pliable, even plastic. It adhered to the 
men's boots with a tenacity which made Mrs. Graham 
say she believed "it was everywhere." To which 
Walter replied, that "it was a fine thing it had one 
attribute of the Deit}-." Mrs. Graham's wit was in no 
wise eclipsed by this, and she answered, "Why, cer- 
tainly; the Creator who made those beautiful coleuses 
(pointing to those in the window), made the mud also." 

"Yes, indeed," replied Walter, tapping his mother 
sportively on the shoulder, "According to both theology 
and science, he made the mud first, and then the co- 
leuses." 

"Oh, go along and clean off your boots," said his 
mother, raising the broom stick at him in the same 
sportive manner, as both smiled the smile of perfect 
understanding. " He made the mud to be kept out of 
of doors and the coleuses to be in the house in winter 
time ; and boys to clean off their boots well before 
they come tramping in," Mrs. Graham continued. 

"Yes, yes, just so, just so, Mrs. Graham," replied 
Walter, as he jumped with agility around his mother, 
giving her a parting kiss on the cheek, " I understand 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 185 

tliorouglil)-; I thought I had cleaned them off, Ijut you 
see my vision was a little defective as to the heels." 

"I think it was," said Mrs. Graham, as Walter 
made his exit through the kitchen door. He returned 
in a few minutes with his arms full of wood, which he 
had laid down in the fire-place, saying, as he entered 
the sitting room door, " There, mother, I brought you 
something more essential to the busy housekeeper than 
before. ' ' 

"You thought the next time you came you would 
try and have your mother in abetter humor, did you ?" 
asked Mrs. Graham. " Yes," replied Walter, " I said, 
' When next I come it should 
Be with bended arm and load of wood, 
And hold it up until before me stood 
This busy mother and her brood.' " 
"Oh, my," exclaimed Sue, from behind the stove, 
" I think, Walt., if you had gone to that high school 
another term the house would not have held you." 
Walter ran up to Sue, caught her by the head and pre- 
tended to bump it against the wall while Joe was busy 
remarking, "Oh, yes, you ought to hear him out aboitt 
the barn, going over his — 

' But when I come again, 
I come with banner, brand and bow, 
As leader seeks his mortal foe, 
Until before me stand 
This rebel chieftain and his band ! ' " 
Whereupon Walter wheeled immediately and gave 
his attention to Joe by going through the feigned 
effort of choking him, getting through only in time to 
suppress Mar}^ who had just finished remarking, 
"Oh, yes, Walt, thinks none of the rest of us ever 
heard that. He has been studying for three days to 



136 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

get up a parody on it." To her he gave a look of im- 
perial power as best he could assume, and pointing his 
finger before her face, exclaimed, "Take care; I tell 
you, if you all had me for a teacher I would settle 
you." " You would be a great person to settle au}-- 
one," said Mrs. Graham, with her smile of latent humor. 

" I guess," said his father, "you have hardly been 
settled yourself ; that's what's the matter. Have you 
finished all that work I set j^ou at ?" " Yes, father, I 
have it all done," replied Walter; "just come in to 
play you a game of checkers." " I will play you a 
game," came simultaneoush* from the mouths of the 
other three children. 

" Well, no," replied his father, " I have been think- 
ing something about another job for you. How would 
you like to go over to Mansdale this afternoon yet?" 
"First-rate," replied Walter. " Oh, there is no such 
violent ru.sh about it as that, is there ?" said Mrs. Gra- 
ham. " Well, it is alread}- as late as I generally leave 
it," replied Mr. Graham ; "it will not hurt Walter, I 
guess, and it will make no break in the business Mon- 
day morning if attended to now." 

"lam in for it," said Walter ; "perhaps I might 
see Will. Morton." 

"Yes, I know you think you might get out of the 
evening chores," said Joe ; " I will have them all to do 
now." 

"Well, it is to Morton's I want you to go, at any 
rate,'' continued Mr. Graham. "Take this money over 
to him and have him receipt it on the mortgage, and 
tell him that, between the bad weather and bad cold I 
have had, I have not been able to get over sooner." 

Walter proceeded to take his leave, and to don his best 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 137 

clothes, which his mother had told him to do, if he was 
going, and to be sure to take the blanket with him ; to 
wrap it well around his legs and to tr)- not to spoil his 
clothes any more than possible ; and to be sure not to 
stay too long at Morton's, unless he was invited. To 
all of which Walter replied, "Yes, and if Will, is at 
home he wnll invite me in, and if he is not I don't 
care to stay." He was all ready and at the barn 
quicker than would have been deemed probable, throw- 
ing the saddle and blanket on Flora's back, with her 
tail bobbed and mane properly adjusted, and with buck- 
skin gloves on his hands to preserve them clean ; he 
slipped the bridle on her head, vaulted into the saddle, 
and started gleefull}- down the road. It was still mist- 
ing a little in his face, but he was unconscious of that, 
his whole mind being absorbed in the thought how to 
urge Flora on without splashing his clothes too much, 
as his mother had cautioned him, and wondering why 
she had cautioned him against staj-ing too long at Mor- 
ton's if he was not invited. Did she think him so 
simple as that ? No, he knew what she thought, he said 
to himself, but he felt confident he knew Will. Morton's 
friendship better than that. He would wager a big 
apple that if Will, was at home he would give him a 
cordial invitation to stay awhile. As he went on down 
the road he passed Bowers' residence, and saw High, 
and Ben. both standing out in the wagon .shed. They 
both exclaimed to him, " Hallo, Walt ; where are you 
going in the rain this late in the week ; come, ride in." 
Walter rode in under the shed for a minute, answering, 
as he did so, "I am going over to Mansdale." " What 
are you going over there for in this rain ?" asked High. 
'' Oh, I am going to pay father's interest to Mr. Morton, 



138 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

replied Walter. " He must be in a hurry for it," replied 
Ben.; "I think I would let him wait for it another 
day." "Oh, it is a wet afternoon ; can't do anything 
else," said Walter ; " may as well go now." 

" How much interest does your father owe him?" 
queried High. "One hundred and twenty dollars is 
what I have in my pocket," replied Walter. " The in- 
terest on two thousand dollars that would be," replied 
High. "I suppose so," rejoined Walter; "I guess 
that is about how much father is in debt." " He might 
have had that debt all paid off by this time if he had 
not gone on improving so fast," was the information 
High, now offered him. " Oh, I reckon so," said Wal- 
ter, " I don't know anything about that. Father says, 
'A man ought not to own a farm, who is not willing to 
improve it as he feels able.' " 

"Are you sorry .school is done ? " queried Ben. at this 
point. "Yes, I am, I have not got quite as much 
schooling as I would like to have," was the quick 
reply. "Great pity that your father was not able to 
.send you to college. What would you like to make 
of yourself anyhow ?" was High.'s next suggestion and 
inquiry. " I am bound to be a lawyer somehow ; if I 
live," replied Walter. 

"What is Tom Svvave going to be?" a.skedBen.; 
' ' you and he are pretty thick and he is a pretty smart 
boy, too." "Don't know," replied Walter; "I don't 
think he knows himself, but he is qualified to be any- 
thing he wants." " Do you think you can get to be a 
lawyer without going through college? " was High.'s 
further interested inquiry. "Yes, I think I can." re- 
plied Walter; " Professor Baker says my scholarship is 
sufficient now to be admitted if I can not go to .school 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 139 

any more, and with what he will assist iiie and what 
I can acquire nij-self, he has no doubt but what I can 
get through. He never saw a boy yet determined to 
make a point but that he succeeded somehow. " "Are 
either of you going to school any more," asked Walter. 
"Don't know," said High.; "while the old governor 
is awa}^ in the Legislature we can't get him to talk 
about school." 

"Well, I must be going," exclaimed Walter, "or I 
will not get to Mansdale. Good-bye," and he straight- 
ened himself up in his saddle, laid his hand on Flora's 
neck, which was the given signal for her to start off on 
an easy gallop. As he galloped on he began thinking 
about what had happened, and he came to the conclu- 
sion that Bowers' boys knew quite as much now about 
his inward thought, his future prospects and his 
father's business, as he did himself. Whether he had 
been a bird and tumbled straight into a snake's mouth 
he did not know, but one thing was certain, he felt 
he had been drained pretty dry. And yet, what had 
he said or done that he should be ashamed of? Noth- 
ing, only he had been indiscreet, unbosomed himself 
to those who he felt suspicious were not his true 
friends. Maybe his mother was right. He would be a 
little more on his guard hereafter as to the genuineness 
of the friendship of those who claimed to be in social 
life above him. In this frame of mind he reached 
Mansdale and resolved to be a little reserved, even with 
the Mortons, much as he had to admit he liked Will. 
So hitching Flora under a shed he looked around at the 
extensive coal yard, lumber yard, and warehouse, which 
he saw were Mr. Morton's. As he looked up the street 
he saw the largest dry goods store in the borough, 



140 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

which he also knew was owned by him, and thought 
perhaps he might be a silent partner in that, as he no 
doubt was in Bernard's business at Shocktown, now 
grown to be quite extensive, lie remembered also he 
had heard that Morton was likely to be president of 
the bank as soon as old Mr. Herr died, who was sup- 
posed to be on his death bed, and he was grossly mis- 
informed if there were not other farms than his father's 
in that country on which he held mortgages. With all 
these facts darting through his mind, he entered the 
counting room of Mr. Morton, resolved not to be pert, 
but to stand upon his dignity. There he saw Mr. 
Morton seated in his revolving chair. Walter knew 
him by sight, of course, but he now had an opportunity 
to take a closer observation of him than he had in his 
previous transient views. He saw a man whose age he 
would have taken to be anywhere between forty-five 
and fifty ; perhaps a trifle nearer the latter than the 
former figures. His hair was slightly sprinkled with 
a .silvery gray. His stature was medium in height, 
and proportioned accordingly. He had no symptoms 
of the thin, spare build or nervous temperament. His 
action, his step and sentences, all seemed not too slow, 
but measured rather than quick and nervous. His 
forehead was oval, his face clean shaven, and the re- 
semblance between him and his son was sufficiently 
marked to show that they were kinsmen. As he 
turned in his chair he gave Walter a polite, " How do 
you do, .sir; will you be seated?" As Walter entered 
the room he felt instantly as he had felt when he first 
approached his son, that he was a man with a studied 
urbanity of manner at least. There was nothing to 
disconcert or aba.sli him as yet or that required him to 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 141 

assume a reserved and dignified air. Of course, it was 
his business to be polite in his own office if he desired 
custom. He would therefore not undo himself too 
soon ; but he must admit that he felt he was being 
captured by the first look and sentence that fell from 
Mr. Morton's lips. He answered, however, with the 
same informal but polite, ' ' How do you do, Mr. Morton ? 
Father sent me over to pay you his interest. Perhaps 
you don't know me — my name?" "Oh, 3'es," said Mr. 
Morton, with a bland smile, cutting short his sentence, 
" I think you will pass for young Mr. Graham." 

" That is correct, sir ; Graham is my name," replied 
Walter, with a similar smile, which he could not have 
prevented with all his effort to assume the austere, and 
continuing, said, " Father sent me over to pay you his 
interest, as I was about to say. He said you should 
just receipt it on the mortgage, and that I should ex- 
plain that the rough weather and the bad cold he has 
had for a few days past, have kept him pretty close to 
the house, or he would have been over sooner. ' ' 

" There is certainly no explanation needed," rejoined 
Mr. Morton. "The mone}' is not really due yet; he 
should not have sent anyone over on this kind of a day; 
it is I who owe the apology." 

"Yes, I know," responded Walter; "but father 
says he has never left it later than this, and he don't 
like to put off things until the last minute." 

" Yes, I understand," said Mr. Morton, who was now 
handling over a lot of papers in his safe ; " your father 
is a very prompt man — as much so as any I ever did 
business with." 

Walter was now captured, body and soul. He was 
about to enter into the most unrestrained conversation, 



142 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

and ask enthusiastically for Will., when he reflected 
long enough to say in an earnest and heartfelt manner, 
" I thank you, Mr Morton, for the compliment." 

" You are welcome to it," replied Mr. Morton, " for 
It is given without mental reservation. Your parents, 
indeed, I know to be not only prompt, but in every 
respect worthy and upright people, and I trust I have 
made no mistake in urging your father not to pay this 
debt off, but to build his mill instead. In fact, he 
would have paid me off long ago, but that I still ad- 
vised him to make what we thought might be certain 
profitable improvements." 

Walter thought, I am learning a good deal about my 
father's business to-day. This is twice I have been told 
why he is still in debt, but with some difference in 
the two standpoints from which the information came. 
This latter fact High. Bowers either did not know, or 
else forgot to tell me. Perhaps it is as well, he thought, 
that I have not told him everything about father's 
affairs ; although he certainly would not have objected 
to letting him know this additional fact while he was 
on the subject. 

Mr. Morton, now entering a receipt on the back of 
the mortgage, continued, " I will just give j^ou another 
receipt in addition to this, Walter — I believe that is 
your name ; you can hand this to your father for his 
own satisfaction when you get home. I^et me see ; 
Will, is about some place ; would you like to see him ? 
You and he are old chums, are you not?" 

Walter replied that he would be delighted to see him. 
He was afraid he would not be at home. 

" He comes home about every third vSaturda}*. John, 
just see where Will, is," said Mr. Morton, tapping with 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 143 

his pencil on the window, and speakirg to one of the 
men outside. In a few minutes Will, appeared, all 
innocent ot the nature of his summons. He opened 
the office door and exclaimed, " Well, hallo ; how are 
you, 5'oung Graham ? I think I will soon have to quit 
calling you that. Why, you are growing like a bitter- 
weed." 

" I am very well," replied Walter ; " how have you 
been ? I think I have been pretty fortunate ; I see you 
every time I come to Mansdale." 

"Oh, I am fortunate in seeing you every time you 
come," responded Will. " You have met with father, 
have you ? Father, this is Walter Graham, who sat with 
me at school last winter. You have heard me speak of 
him." " Oh, yes, he and I have had quite an acquaint- 
ance here by ourselves," replied Mr. Morton. " Yes," 
said Walter, ' ' It appears your father knew me before I 
could announce myself." "Well, you know distin- 
guished men must expect to be known by the public," 
said Mr. Morton, humorously. "Yes, indeed," added 
Will.; "you see 3'our reputation is growing, Wal- 
ter ; whenever it becomes known in Mansdale you 
must look out for surprises." Here the conversation 
became so spontaneous and general, the atmosphere 
became so warm and congenial, that Walter accepted, 
without hesitancy, the invitation which he felt sure was 
sincere from Will, and his father to have his horse put 
away and stay for tea. " I believe it is going to clear 
off," he said, " and I should enjoy an hour's talk with 
you ver}' much." 

" Certainly," said Will.; '' there is no excuse what- 
ever. I have no engagement for the evening, and you 
and I will have such a joyous time talking over every 



144 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

little incident that ever happened up in Shocktown acad- 
emy. I want you to come up and see the rest of the 
folks. You were never in our house, were you ? I re- 
member what a pleasant evening I spent at your house 
once. How are those two young sisters of yours ; are 
they both well? " Walter replied that they were, and 
that Sue could play much better on her little melodeon 
than she could when he was there. " vShe could do it 
very nice then," came (juickly from Will.'s lips. 

Mr. Morton had now called once more at the win- 
dow to the man whom he addressed as John, and 
directed him to "take that horse in the shed to the 
barn and have it well groomed and fed." 

The man proceeded to take charge of F'lora, and 
Will, and Walter, after taking a short survey of the 
warehouse and yard, proceeded to the hou.se. They 
walked up two of the principal squares of the borough, 
then about a square to the left, when they turned to 
the right and walked about another half square across 
an open lot, over which there was laid a board-walk, 
which led up to the side yard of a substantial, old 
stone hou.se, built of old Pennsylvania limestone, and 
pointed off to look quite artistic, as the large stones 
lapped over each other in such regular irregularity. 
A more modern brick end had been built to it, whose 
second-story windows looked a trifle higher than the 
old ones but not more comfortable, as the old build- 
ing looked just old enough to have pleasant memories 
associated with it and yet not antiquated enough to 
haunt you with ghost stories and murdered men buried 
in the cellar. The ivy crawled over one side of the 
wall and had thrown its tender sprigs out for a short 
distance on the brick part, as if to say, how far dare 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 145 

we come on this new territor}-. The side-yard gate 
through which they passed was about twenty- iive feet 
from the wall of the building, around two sides of 
which ran an open hospitable porch. The front of the 
building stood about one hundred yards from the pub- 
lic road or street, and a considerable portion of the 
walk was covered with a long grape-vine arbor with its 
fancy lattice work and creeping vines. All around the 
yard, which extended back and on the other side, were 
trees and shrubs, and flower beds, and tufted sods, and 
little nooks and corners, and out-buildings to the rear, 
such as are incident to an old farm-building. The barn, 
which was more considerable than Walter had expected 
to see for a gentleman's stable, probably stood about 
two hundred yards diagonally to the rear and about 
the same distance to the right ; fronting the road 
stood a modern new frame dwelling, with porches 
around its three sides, with baj' windows on the south, 
and surrounded with a spacious yard, and shrubbery, 
and young trees of probably ten years' growth. Oh, I 
am mistaken, thought Walter, after all, over there in 
the new house is where Mr. Morton lives ; but as they 
turned into the gate and proceeded for a short distance 
along the walk, ascended the porch and advanced to 
the other side entrance of the old house, which ad- 
mitted them into a long comfortable sitting-room, he 
found his first impressions were confirmed. The look 
and air of all in the room were like those outside ; 
neither so grand as to freeze j^ou out, nor too mean 
for the gentleman of real wealth and culture. 

When they were fairl}- inside Will, asked Walter for 
his overcoat and hat, which he laid away for him, and 
then said, " I am going up to the bath-room to wa.sh ; 



146 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

do you prefer to go along?" Walter replied that he 
would like to wash off his hands and face a little, but 
he could do that out here at the pump ver}' well. At 
which Will, caught him by the arm, without evincing 
the slightest appearance of amusement, and led him 
upstairs to the bath-room, saying, "We have all got in 
the habit of just going to the bath-room ; it is really 
more convenient." 

As Walter washed the mud off his hands and face 
and combed up his hair before the glass, Will. Morton 
could not but say to himself, "What an intelligent 
good-looking face it is. I need not be ashamed to 
bring it into the famih' after all." When they returned 
to the sitting-room, Walter was presented to Aunt 
Mar}^ who had been housekeeper in the faniil}' for over 
a dozen years Aunt Mar}' was a spry young widow 
of forty-three, who had buried her husband some 
fourteen years ago. Her hair was very much the color 
of Mr. Morton's, and slight traces of silver were seen 
to be threading it here and there. Her general form 
and features seemed to resemble his, save that they 
were something younger, and they had a right to, for 
she was his full sister. She received Walter in the 
most gracious manner, bid him be .seated, with a kind 
inquiry for his mother, with whom she claimed a slight 
acquaintance in their earlier days. She moved about, 
doing a dozen little agreeable things at once and 
making her young guest feel perfectly at home. 

Walter had understood from Will, that his mother 
had been deceased for several years, and that Aunt 
Mary had been housekeeper ever since. Indeed she 
had almost raised the children ; but it required this 
ocular view for him to understand why the fresh young 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 147 

bachelors of thirty and upwards still waltzed around 
her with the avidity of youth ; why she was the 
center of many a social gathering in Mansdale, and 
how the impressions made on a certain rich old 
widower of sixty-four had never been reciprocated. He 
was shown a picture of a bright young girl in her 
twentieth year, who Will, told him was cousin Ida, 
Aunt Mary's daughter and only child, who was now 
away at a female college. His further inspection of the 
photograph was interrupted b}' the arrival of Harry, 
the younger brother of Will., a lad, just turned fifteen, 
whose complexion was a little more of the blonde 
tha neither Mr. Morton's, Will.'s or Aunt Mary's. He 
was more quick and nervous in his step and voice, and 
showed very clearly that he was a Bernard, as Walter 
thought he could actually see his resemblance to Maggie 
a little. Aunt Mary, who had retired to the dining-room 
to look after the supper, now returned to the room 
where the three boys were conversing ; she asked Harry 
when he thought his father would be home ; then 
passed through to the hall and called up to Blanch to 
know if she would soon be down. 

In a few minutes the door opened and Will, arose to 
introduce Walter to his sister Blanch. She was a young 
girl, just nineteen months older than Harry, with 
black hair and bright complexion. Her eyes were a 
cross between blue and gray, her expression a kind of 
mixture of the sparkle and the austere. A second 
glance, which was cut too short for Walter's satisfaction, 
by reason of the second glance that was slipped slyly 
up to him, told him that it was a slight tendency on 
the part of her eyes to be crossed ; not enough to mar 
their beauty, but just enough to give them a kind 



148 WAI.TKR CtRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

of penetration. Her figure was erect, though not 
haughtily so. She received him cordially enough, 
although not with the same spontaneity the rest of the 
family had done. Her movements were graceful, her 
voice had a sufficient mixture of the clear, the crisp, 
and the soft. The genial traces of her father were on 
her countenance far more, Walter conjectured, than 
were her mother's, and he saw nothing of the latent, 
tart smile that .sometimes played around Maggie 
Bernard's lips. It would have pu/.zled Walter to have 
described in detail a single part of her garment, al- 
though, manlike, he had his clear idea of the general 
whole. He knew that the ' shade of her dress was 
rather dark, that the -material, although not gaudy, 
was rich. Her general figure might not have been 
pronounced by most young fellows quite as handsome 
as Maggie Bernard's, he thought, but he w^as half in- 
clined to believe there was something rather more 
striking in her countenance, notwithstanding she was 
rather less communicative than the rest of the family, 
and taken all together perhaps a little too coy. 

When they were all seated at the supper table, with 
Aunt Mary at one end, Mr. Morton at the other. Will, 
taking his seat at the left of his father, and Walter 
next to him, at Aunt Mar3^'s right, Harry immediately 
opposite at his aunt's left, where he had sat from the 
time he was two and a-half j'ears old, and Blanch to 
the right of her father, Walter could perceive that 
they were quite a handsome and cultured family ; that 
Aunt Mary was quite fond of Harry, and that Mr. 
Morton turned affectionate glances occasionally to his 
only daughter, while Will, assumed the dignit}^ of the 
oldest child. It required no great discernment on 



THE IMORTON FAMII-Y. 149 

Walter's part to discover, also, that while the Mortons 
were Republicans, there was a far more conser\'ative 
policy prevailing with them on the momentous ques- 
tion of the hour than in his father's home, to say 
nothing of the political gospel of Mr. Williamson, to 
which Walter had become so familiar. ' ' What does 
your father think of the prospect of things, Walter," 
asked Mr. Morton ; ' ' does he think there is any pros- 
pect of a peaceable adjustment of affairs, or does he 
think there will be war?" "I can hardl}' say," an- 
swered Walter, "he don't say much about it the last 
few days. He says he is prepared for anything now 
except compromise. He saj'S he don't want that; he is 
glad Congress expired without adopting one." 

"That is all nice enough in sentiment," replied Mr. 
Morton, "but he must remember there are large com- 
mercial interests at stake. I have frequently found in 
business it is better sometimes to give and take a 
little." "Do you know Mr. Williamson," asked 
Walter ; "you should hear him on this question. He 
looks upon any concession made to the South now as 
the greatest calamity that could befall the country, not 
even excepting war with all its horrors. 

"Yes, I know him," replied Mr. Morton, "he is 
very radical in his views." 

"He is so considered," rejoined Walter, "but I 
think thoroughly honest." 

"I am willing to concede that," replied Morton, 
" but an erroneous opinion is none the less dangerous, 
because it is honestly held." " Ver}- true, that in fact 
would make it all the more dangerous ; the onh' ques- 
tion is, are Mr. Williamson's opinions wrong?" said 
Walter. " I suppose that is really the question," an- 



150 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

swered Mr. Morton." Will., who seemed rather less 
conservative on the question than his father, said, 
"You see, father, Walter is quite a champion in 
debate ; he can take advantage of a weak point in his 
adversary with wonderful quickness." 

"Oh, I see," replied Mr. Morton, with a smile. A 
short lull followed, and Blanch now addressed to 
Walter her first direct question, as follows: "Do you 
ever see an^lhing of Uncle Joseph's family, Mr. 
Graham." 

" Oh, yes, quite frequently," replied Walter ; " I see 
either Mart, or Mr. Bernard nearly every day ; I be- 
lieve they are all well." " How often do you see the 
girls," queried Aunt Mary, with a benignant smile. 
"I .saw Maggie and Phoebe every day while school 
lasted." Blanch, with what Walter thought wonder- 
ful tact and good taste, said, "I suppose this will be 
Maggie's last winter with Professor Baker." " I could 
not certainly say, but I rather suppo.se so," replied 
Walter. 

As the}' arose from the supper table and passed into 
the room, Mr. Morton said, "Now Blanch, you can 
play some nice music for Walter and the rest of us." 
The family, at this suggestion, all passed on through 
the sitting-room, across the large hall, into the parlor. 
As Walter looked aroiind and saw the upholstered 
chairs and sofas, velvet carpet, and costly paintings on 
the wall, although the room was well aired, cosy and 
warm and the furniture sufficiently disarranged with 
all evidence of having been used and not kept merely 
to be looked at, he could not help but think how plain 
and uninviting his mother's clean rag carpet and old 
red settee, and well-chosen little pictures on the wall. 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 151 

must have seemed to Will. Morton the night he was at 
their place. But still he was surprised to feel so much 
at home, especially when Blanch said to him, " Which 
kind of music do you prefer, Mr. Graham, the piano 
or the organ ? " "I like the organ best," was Walter's 
instant reply; " it is not fashionable to say so, I know, 
but the organ has such a soft, sweet tone, compared 
with the piano." Blanch smiled serenely, as she 
turned to the organ and filled the room with the 
sounds of the instrument and her voice. Soon the 
young folks were all gathered around her in a close 
circle, chatting merril}^ between each song. As the 
light shone through the window from the other house 
across the way, Walter remarked," When I came up I 
wondered if that was the house in which you lived," 
to which Blanch replied, as she turned over the leaves 
of her music, " Yes, I know a great many people think 
that. Father built that house for Mr. Jones, the 
farmer. Previous to that we used to board some of 
the hands ourselves, but it made so much trouble and 
work." "Why, is this a regular farm here?" asked 
Walter. "Oh, it used to be," replied Blanch, "but 
now it is so cut up into lots, and has been sold off that 
there is not much left." "Only about twenty-five 
acres across the road they farm now," added Will. 
' ' I thought this back here looked like an old farm 
house originally," said Walter. 

Blanch smiled and said, "I suspect you thought 
that was the nicer house of the two, and that was 
where we ought to be living." "No, I did not think 
that," replied Walter. "I thought this looked like 
one of those quaint old places which become either the 
retired farmer, the gentleman, the scholar, or the mer- 



152 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

chant prince." Blanch looked up at him with her pene- 
trating eyes and honest countenance as if to charge him 
with flatter}', but the guileless expression she saw on 
Walter's face rescued his remarks from that interpreta- 
tion, and she simply smiled and said, "Oh. here, let 
us sing the Star Spangled Banner next ; that is appro- 
priate now;" which they did, the two boys and Aunt 
Mary joining in. At the close of this song, Blanch 
turned around thoughtfully to Walter and said, " Do 
you think there is going to be a war growing out of 
all this trouble?" Walter answered her with equal 
thought, saying, "I really don't know, I hope not; 
that is, I hope we will not be driven to that necessit}'." 
"Mercy, I think it would be awful," replied Blanch. 
She now, at Will. 's suggestion, sang that favorite piece 
of hers, " The Stars and the Dew Drops are Waiting for 
Thee." She began at once and filled the room with 
the sweet melody of her voice, keeping perfect time 
with the organ, as she reached the chorus of each 
verse, which was 

' ' The stars and the dew drops 
Are waiting for thee." 

Entertained as Walter was, he now reflected that it 
was time he was starting for home. He withdrew to the 
sitting-room for the purpose of making preparation. 
He noticed that Mr. Morton had alread}' withdrawn to 
the library to enjoy his cigar. Blanch proceeded to 
her father's room and woke him from his reverie by 
gently laying her hand upon his shoulder and saying 
something to him. Mr. Morton responded, " Be seated, 
Walter, until 5'our horse is ready; John will bring him 
out for you." 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 153 

John, who seemed to be always ready, reported in due 
time that Mr. Graham's horse was ready. 

Walter bid them all good b3'e, and received the ac- 
companying invitation to come and see them again 
from all but Blanch, who simply wished him "safe 
home. ' ' He thanked her and started out once more into' 
the night air, and vaulted into the saddle. He straight- 
ened himself up again, not with a feeling of defiance, 
as he had in Bowers' wagon shed, but with a feeling of 
pleasure, as he passed out of Morton's yard. He drew 
the reins slightly on Flora, laid his hand again upon 
her neck, at which she started off on a vigorous trot. 
Her action and step said plainly, that she was not 
started home with an empty stomach. She arrived at 
her stable door a little before ten o'clock. Walter was 
in the house by ten, where he reported all things to all 
the family except Joe, who had been in bed an hour 
ago. He did not go separately over each member of 
his family and compare them, to see if there were not 
as deep traces of character, of individuality and of 
Christian virtue stamped on their faces as on the Mor- 
tons, but he did wonder if the Mortons, even in the 
absolute privacy of their home, congenial as it seemed 
to be, gave wa}' to the same eas\' frolicsome mood that 
the Grahams had just before he had left for Mansdale. 
He did have sense enough left, however, to say to him- 
self, that friendly as the Mortons had been to him, he 
must be brave enough in the very inception to suppress 
every emotion in his heart which had been awakened 
by the sight of Blanch. He knew enough to know 
that she was destined to have every opportunity of 
what the world calls society, culture and high accom- 
plishments. She would always be at heart a lady, it 



154 WAI^TKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

was true ; but the rich, the affluent, the presumptuous, 
the cultured, and even the so-called great, who were 
sure to be rivals for her hand, were a certain bar to 
any aspirations of his in that direction. No, sir ; that 
thought, he correctly reasoned, may as well receive its 
quietus at once. He went to his own plainly-furnished 
room to retire, where he found Joe lying diagonally 
across the bed, sound asleep. He caught him by the 
legs, straightened him out, and made room for himself 
at his side. He lay down, looked out of the window, 
saw the stars shining and the dew drops sparkling, and 
he uttered in an audible whisper, the word, Blanch. 
Where did they get that name ? There was no harm, 
surely, in asking that question. He could, with perfect 
safety, he thought, tread thus far on the forbidden 
ground. Blanch Morton — it had a poetic tinge. Oh, 
yes ; he remembered now : " Blanch, Blanch, the poor 
girl, met an untimely death, in Scott's Lady of the 
Lake, from which he had been quoting so profusely 
of late. Yes, the arrow just passed Fitz James' breast 
and pierced hers. Alas ! he said, has this Blanch shot 
forth an arrow from those penetrating eyes of hers 
that has lodged straight in my heart ? If so, I will 
imitate the example of the great Julian, who, expiring, 
drew the arrow from his heart and implored his fol- 
lowers to fight to the death and stand by the religion 
of the gods. ' ' He would now dash this insidious dart 
aside and move on to his great purpose. 

So resolving and so musing, he fell asleep ; but down 
in the coveted White House, at the nation's capitol, 
Abraham Lincoln had just dismissed his last official 
visitor, and picked up Gen. Scott's letter to read it for 
the third time. It told him, in substance, that owing to 



THE MORTON FAMILY. 155 

the startling revelations that had come to him during 
the last twenty-four, hours, he had deemed it proper to 
suggest the temporarj^ abandonment of Fort Sumter. 
He laid the letter down on the desk, and himself on 
a lounge, but arose again in a few minutes and walked 
the floor to keep down the hot fever that was burning 
in his brain. He felt from that hour, with increased 
acuteness, if possible, the great weight that had fallen 
on his shoulders. He saw so clearly, from that day 
forward, the bloody carnage through which his country 
would have to pass, and said : " O, God ! have mercy 
on me and my poor country, and grant us both the 
power to bear it." He commenced to answer the letter 
of Secretary Seward, in which he had practically asked 
him to abdicate his office in his favor. He saw clearly 
that, from this hour forward, he alone would be held 
responsible for the acts of the government ; that, from 
this hour forward, his will alone should construct the 
policy of his administration ; that he had been inviting 
his cabinet long enough to deliver written opinions on 
different matters, that he might take the measure of 
their minds. It was high time for him to make mani- 
fest what he had felt conscious of for some time, that 
his own mind was the master of them all. The morn- 
ing light peeped through the curtains and saw his face 
haggard and careworn, for he had not closed his eyelids 
in sleep. The morning light peeped through the cur- 
tains in Walter Graham's bed-room and fell upon his 
face, all radiant and bright, for he had just awoke from 
a refreshing sleep and pleasant dreams of the Morton 
famil}'. 



CHAPTER X. 

THK lURSrF.D STORM. 

DOWN in the State of North Carolina some place, as 
near as it is now possible to tell, anywhere from 
fifty to one hundred miles from the sea coast, and about 
the same distance from the city of Wilmington, stands a 
certain Southern mansion. In fact, if you would start 
from that city and sail up the Cape Fear River, about 
the distance spoken of, it is within the range of possibil- 
ities that you might pass not more than five or ten miles 
from the particular spot now alluded to. At all events, 
either tradition or some of the friends in interest have 
gone so far as to locate it on the west of the river, about 
eight miles from it, on a considerable little stream that 
flows thereinto. It is safe, therefore, to assume, from 
the description of these interested friends, that it is far 
enough west to be out of the miasma and all the debili- 
tating influences of the great "Dismal Swamp," but 
not far enough west to be subject to the snow and 
rigors of the mountain district ; but in that happy 
mean, between the lowland and the upland, not far 
from the thirty-fifth parallel of latitude, where there is 
such a happy coming together of winter and summer ; 
where this genial meeting of latitude and altitude 
have produced such a general merging of interests and 
variety of products, of sweet potatoes and tobacco, of 
cotton and corn, of the tar, the pitch, turpentine, rosin 
and lumber, all so peculiar to the Old North vState. 
Some accounts said that it was not more than ten 



THE BURSTED STORM. 157 

miles from Fayettesville ; some said it was as far as 
seventy-five and others only fift}' miles from Raleigh, 
the capitol of the State. At all events, as you ap- 
proached it with private conveyance, after emerging 
from a large tract of pine timber, through which a 
long, narrow road had led you to a small, open, cleared 
fiel9, crossed over the creek, moved on for about one- 
fourth of a mile, gradually ascending until you reached 
the brow of a moderate hill, where the cleared land 
again broke all around, j^ou saw this ideal Southern 
mansion. It was in the centre of a large tract of land, 
some seven hundred acres or more ; around and about, 
extending down the creek and back to other wood- 
lands, were numerous negro huts, a saw mill, a cotton 
gin, tar and turpentine industries, and other dwellings, 
not greatly inferior to the central mansion. 

Ivike most homes of the first families of the South, 
it had a name. That it was owned principally by 
Northern men and the businesses carried on about it 
were run principally b)' Northern capitol, did not pre- 
vent it from having that. The appellation by which 
it was dignified was Mount Airy. Whether it was 
because of the elevation on which it stood or the salu- 
briousness of the atmosphere that had suggested the 
name, is not clear. One thing, however, is certain, 
some of the residents of this plantation were airing 
themselves considerably as to their political opinions 
on a certain occasion. The occasion was the 15th of 
April, 1861, three days after the firing on Fort Sumter 
and the bursting of the war cloud all over the country; 
the bursting, perhaps more properly speaking, of the 
hope of peace and the unification of the sentiment of 
war upon the one and the other side ; but the genera- 



158 WALTRR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tioii that passed through it remember too distinctly, and 
the generation that has been reared since, have been 
told of it too thoroughly, to waste any time describing 
it now. The uprising of the North, the pouring forth 
of the troops, the disappearance of the peace party, 
the indignation at the South, and the determination to 
uphold the Union, the equal suppression of all opposi- 
tion to secession in the South, the activity of their 
movement, the assurance of their leaders, and the 
dreams of power and victory that arose before their ex- 
cited vision, have all been elaborated by historians 
so thoroughl}- as to need only a passing glance, while 
the attention is called more particularly to the little 
particular storm that took place at this particular man- 
sion on that particular day. 

" I tell you," said the old man, with the gray beard, 
walking the porch of this mansion and addressing him- 
self to two.other gentlemen, and a few ladies who were 
listening at the window, ' ' Reed has got to be sup- 
pressed. The idea that we are going to nourish and 
foster a live, loud-mouthed traitor to our country and 
sympathizer with the North in our own household, 
is simply preposterous. I am in favor of giving him 
his choice, either to enlist in the Confederate army 
or leave the country, branded as a spy, within the next 
twenty-four hours. ' ' 

" Mr. Morgan," spoke up another man, of about 
fifty-five years of age, and the occupant of the house, 
" I am equally in favor of having him suppressed, but 
the trouble is, it's not we that are nurturing him so 
much as he and his friends that have been nurturing 
us. If we send him away, and our friends in the 
North commence foreclosing mortgages and demanding 



THE BURSTED STORM. 159 

divisions of property, it may be worth while to con- 
sider the positions we will be left in." 

" I say to you, Clinton, and more especially to your 
son Andrew, right here on this porch, that Reed shall 
be suppressed," rejoined Morgan. " You must remem- 
ber I have some interest in this property as well as 
you, and I never have wavered in my opinions for mer- 
cenary considerations, and I never will. I have no 
terror of their mortgages and foreclosures and divisions 
of interest. Sir, there is not a reputable lawyer in the 
State of North Carolina who would represent these 
Northern tyrants in their cause while the country is in 
a state of war ; besides, war, sir, absolves, for the time 
being at least, all obligations, either public or private. 
No, sir; we can't maintain a traitor here from the 
North, even under the pretext of property rights. He 
can either acquiesce in the measures of our country, or 
leave it and trust to such equitable adjustment of his 
financial rights as may be accorded to him at the close 
of hostilities." 

" I acquiesce entirely in the measure," responded the 
older Clinton, " that if he declines to enlist or to sup- 
port the flag of our countr}', he be told to leave it, 
with the understanding that we will meet him upon 
liberal terms as to his property rights at the clo.se of 
hostilities, which I don't think will last long. I will 
write to that efiect to our friends in the North, as my 
wife has already written to her sister, that we shall hold 
them as we hold the rest of mankind — enemies in war, 
in peace friends." 

"Yes, but remember," said old Morgan, "there is 
but one way in which he can assure us of his loyalty to 
our cause, that is by enlisting in the Confederate army. ' ' 



160 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Andrew J. Clinton now addressed Mr. Morgan, say- 
ing, "That method of convincing you, you may rest 
a.ssured, Mr. Morgan, Reed will never acquiesce in, or 
I am mightly deceived in the man. In fact, he would 
lower himself immensely in my opinion if he would. 
I insist, therefore, on one other consideration, that he 
be allowed to remain by taking a regular obligation to 
obe}' the laws of neutrality as any other alien might 
do, or if he does depart, that he shall be allowed to 
start sufficiently provided for, and that he be given 
safe conduct through our lines. ' ' 

Mr. Reed, the person under controversy, a man of 
about forty-two years, with a business-like air about 
him, had now arrived, face to face with his accusers, in 
obedience to their request, and upon having their alter- 
natives presented to him, said, " Gentlemen, the idea, 
the suggestion that I should enlist under this flag of 
treason, this banner of hell, this new^ and hateful 
emblem of sedition and slavery, is simply insulting. 
How it is that you could have conceived of any such 
idea, or dreamed for a moment that such a thing was 
possible, I cannot understand. I have gone to the 
farthest extent conscience will permit b}^ pursuing a 
policy of strict neutrality, of perfect silence ; but 
beyond that it is simply impossible to expect any .self- 
respecting Northern man to go. As for my own small 
interest in this plantation, I have long since made up 
my mind that it was gone, and would have left your 
State long ago, but for the fact that I am here as the 
guardian, the trustee of my friends in the North, of 
Messrs. Morton and Bernard, who have placed their 
confidence in me, and who.se interest I will not betra}^ 
without at least an effort to maintain it." 



THE BURSTED STORM. 161 

These words were spoken with all the deliberation 
of a well-matured purpose, although the voice was a 
little tremulous with excitement, and they caused a 
feeling of surprise, if not a little terror on the minds 
of the two older men, while the younger one, the 
cooler of the three, gave Reed a look rather of friendly 
admonition, as if to say, " Perhaps it would have been 
better for 5'ou not to have expressed yourself quite so 
strongh'." 

Morgan, advancing now a little towards Reed, draw- 
ing one hand down over his gray beard, and his face 
flushed with rage, said, "Sir, I don't like such inso- 
lence from a man who is here by our leave. We called 
you here to talk reasonably, to give you friendly means 
of escape if yon would not endorse our cause ; but now 
you have, by your own conduct, burned every bridge 
behind you. You have relieved us from every obliga- 
tion we owe you. Don't look to us for protection if 
you .receive a visit from our vigilance committee to- 
night." He here turned on his heel, gave a wave of 
his hand, as if to say the conversation was closed. 

"One word," exclaimed Reed. "I have nothing 
further to add," said Morgan, with imperial voice. 

"We are not men who waste words," interposed the 
elder Clinton ; "I take it that enough has been said ; 
you understand the situation." And they both turned 
to go. 

"One moment, I say," repeated Reed, with deep 
agitation in his voice, and drawing a six shooter from 
his pocket, he discharged one of the balls through the 
board fence. At the report of this the two older men 
halted, turned and looked upon Reed with a look not 
unmingled with fear. The girls screamed, Mrs. Clin- 



162 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ton's face turned the color of chalk, and the 3'oung man 
stood unmoved. " You sent for me," said Reed ; " now 
will you please hear me through ? I did not want to have 
to hold 3'Our attention by this method, but perhaps it is 
as well that we have it all out now; that you understand 
me quite as thoroughly as I understand you, and what 
your vigilance committee means. You are convinced 
now, are you, that there is powder and lead in those 
barrels ? I have two others besides these with me. You 
see the hole that it has burned in that board ; it will 
make the same kind of a one in the heart of a man ; 
and I have been considered a fairly good marksman 
from the time I was a boy ; therefore, what I want to 
say to you is entirely for 5'our own benefit. Please don't 
have any of your own personal friends or connections 
on the vigilance committee to-night, for they will surely 
have cause to regret it ; besides, sir, you need not have 
gone to the trouble of informing me now that they 
might wait on me to-night. They were there last night, 
and, as I veril}' believe, with your knowledge and ap- 
proval. They informed me, themselves, that I should 
be either a .soldier in the rebel army, or leave the coun- 
try by another night. 1 answered them, as I answer 
you now, that I would do neither. I am not only a 
man of few words, as you claim to be, but I am a man 
of peace. I will now have it, if I have to enforce it 
with these revolvers ; but now, sir, il we have all be- 
come composed enough to talk the matter over, what I 
have to propose is this : first, I am not such a fool as to 
suppose that you can't, ultimately, drive me out of the 
State, and murder me and my family. Therefore, I 
a.sk, as a matter of right, as well as the respect due an 
honest foe, that my time of starting be extended at 



THE BURSTED STORM. 163 

least another twenty-four hours, that ni}'- family may 
make something like comfortable preparation ; that I 
have an equitable division of the available assets of the 
firm now, in bonds ; that I have an agreement in 
writing to make an equitable adjustment of all matters 
at the close of hostilities, and that I shall be guaran- 
teed safe conduct outside of the limits of your so-called 
Confederacy." 

"By Heaven, his terms are just and reasonable," 
said young Clinton, who was the first to break the 
silence after Reed had finished ; "I am in favor of 
every one of them being granted, and, whether they 
can all be effected or not, I will stand sponsor for you, 
Mr. Reed — for your faithful performance of the con- 
tract, and give you my guarantee that no vigilance 
committee will wait on you to-night." 

"Andrew," said his father, "you take a heap on 
you for one of your years, and, besides, you talk all the 
time as if you were half afraid of these Northern mud- 
sills." 

"And father," responded Andrew, "you talk as wide 
of the mark as Mr. Morgan and the rest of the enthu- 
siasts. It is easy to sit here at home and talk about 
Northern mud-sills ; that hostilities won't last long, 
and that the Confederate States of America are an estab- 
lished fact on the map of the world ; but. to go forth 
and establish it, that is quite another thing. Sir, I 
have loved the land of my nativity, the State of my 
birth and our sunny vSouth, with the devotion of a 
child. Ill-advised as I think her course has been, 
much as I have done in my humble capacity to avert 
it, a filial affection for her sends me out to-morrow to 
obey her behests, to enlist in her ranks, to fight her 



164 WAT/rRR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

battles, and to do what I can to make the Confederate 
vStates of America a reality. But in doing so, I finnly 
believe I am going forth into a severe and bitter 
struggle, in which the courage and valor of the 
vSouthern people furnish me the guarantee that we 
shall ultimately win ; but I know equally well, as I 
know I have an existence, that it will be only after 
weary months, perhaps years of blood and toil, of 
homes made desolate, of families and kindred separated 
and divided, and of hearts rent with sorrow. I know that 
you and Morgan and many of our leaders in high posi- 
tion have filled the people with the idea that there is a 
large portion of the North that sympathizes with us ; 
that there is a Southern sentiment in the city of New 
York alone that can save us from harm while we rear 
our new edifice ; but let me beseech 5'ou to dispel that 
delusion. Sir, I have misread the people of the North in 
my sojourn amoi.g them, and with our friends there in 
the winter, if the peace party, the s^-mpathizers with 
the South, has not as thoroughl}- melted away and dis- 
appeared already as has au}^ Northern sentiment among 
us, I know you thought that the government at 
Washington would not even resent our assaults ; that 
she would treat for peace from the start, and now you 
are confronted with the fact that already lyincoln has 
called for seventj^-five thousand troops to uphold the 
flag of the Union, and they are responding from all 
sections. No, sir ; all this means war and no other 
word defines it. And as regards the matter of Mr. 
Reed, about which we were assembled, he has simply 
lived here a peaceable and unobtrusive life for four 
years with us, a party in interest, who niereh' asks now, 
in this state of open war, to be allowed to depart in 
peace (with a proper adjustment of his rights) to his 



THE BURSTEU STORM. 165 

native country with which he sympathizoe. I say, by 
all that is fair, by all that is reasonable and right, he 
should be allowed to do it. ' ' 

Although his whole manner had been earnest and 
solemn, young Clinton uttered his last sentence with 
that peculiar flash of the eye and emphasis of his long, 
slim white hand and finger which, it was perfectly 
plain, impressed the two older men with the thought, 
that, perhaps, they might as well acquiesce. Old Mor- 
gan stroked his beard, showed signs of suppressed, rage, 
and deigned to be sarcastic, as he replied, "Andrew, 
when you get into our army I hope you will fire toward 
the Yankees, and not towards our own men. L,incoln 
has called out seventy-five thousand Northern cattle, 
has he, to come down here to suppress Southern gen- 
tlemen ? Well, don't get scared; the first regiment 
3'ou see of them will run away at the sight of one hun- 
dred Southern soldiers. In fact, Andrew, you talk a 
good bit like a young blatherskite." 

"And, Mr. Morgan, you talk like a man who has 
never read a page of history or had a year's experience 
of life, notwithstanding you have just had the ocular 
demonstration of one Northern man who has not been 
scared very badl}^ at sight of you or at the sound of 
your bravado. If there are seventy-five thousand more 
such coming down upon us we have good cause to be 
alarmed. Mr. Reed, we may as well withdraw for the 
present," and they turned and walked slowly away. 

As they passed down the lawn, young Clinton con- 
tinued, "There is no doubt now, Reed, but what your 
terms will be substantially granted, and since it has to 
be .so, perhaps a'ou had better not defer your starting 
any longer than 3-ou can help." 



166 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Andrew," rejoined Mr. Reed, " I had a lurking idea 
that you entertained such feehngs toward me, but I 
never dreamed that you would have dared to say what 
you did, at this time, in the face of those older men, 
especially 3^our father. I supposed that I was sum- 
moned there to be cashiered in the most peremptory 
manner and that you, of course, would go with the 
current. You have laid me under a deep obligation to 
you, and I fully agree with you now, that since it is 
only a question of time, I may as well go as .soon as 
pos.sible. I think I can be ready to start in the morn- 
ing." 

"All right, then," said Andrew, "we can start to- 
gether. Yoii have my respect as a worthy foeman. 
I should have despised j-ou forever afterwards if you 
had consented to enlist in our army," and the two men 
parted . 

The two older men were left standing on the porch, 
in a kind of paralyzed condition. After Mr. Reed and 
Andrew had gone out of hearing distance, Morgan said, 
" By Jove, he is a Tartar, i.sn't he ?" 

' ' Yes, sir ; who would have thought it — such a quiet, 
inoffensive man he always seemed to be," was Clinton's 
reply. 

" Mercy, but I was .scared," gasped Mrs. Clinton. 

"I guess we may as well grant him his terms," re- 
plied Morgan, "save that his present allowance shall 
be as meagre as possible." 

It would be useless to pursue their conversation 
further, or the doings of any of the parties about 
Mt. Airy the remainder of that day ; but the next 
morning two men were seen departing from it, the one 
mounted on a dapple-gray hor.se, going to enlist in the 



THE BURSTED STORM. 167 

North Carolina cavalry, the other driving an old mule 
to a Dearborn wagon, a refugee for the North. The name 
of the one was Andrew Jackson Clinton ; the name of 
the other was George Washington Reed. The latter 
had with him in the wagon, a trunk and his wife Sarah, 
a lady of about forty summers, and his daughter Emma, 
a girl of seventeen. It is, perhaps, equally useless to 
pursue in detail the happenings of these two parties 
on their journey. Suffice it to say that both were 
travelling in the direction of Fayettesville. The one, as 
might naturally be supposed, reached the place several 
hours in advance of the other. The one with the slow 
team trudged slowly along through bogs and over hills, 
walking most of the way himself that his mule might 
not fall from exhaustion, allaying the apprehensions of 
his wife and daughter as best he could, as they entered 
in and passed through dark passages of timber, and 
answering, in a hopeful affirmative, their anxious in- 
quiries, " Do you think we will get there before night ?" 
The other, true to his instincts and his promises, com- 
menced busying himself during the hours he had pre- 
ceded the other to Fayettesville in hunting up the col- 
onel of his regiment and other persons of station and 
influence to procure for Reed, when he arrived, not 
only protection but passports of safety as far on as 
Raleigh, at least, and with such letters to the governor 
of the State as might procure for him a safe journe}^ 
to the North, There is only time now, however, to 
say that the two men said good-by to each other cor- 
dially in the railroad station at Fayettesville, late in the 
afternoon of the next day, with the mutually sincere 
hope that when they next met it would be under 
happier conditions ; and that they never did look upon 



108 WALTER GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

each other's faces again. And notwithstanding all 
the precaution that had been taken, Reed met with 
more detentions, embarrassing annoyances, searchings 
of person and trunk, missing of connections, and ex- 
haustion of his not over plethoric purse, than he had 
e.xpected, but finally arrived safeh- on the 23d of April, 
at Mansdale, with his health, his wife, his daughter, 
his wife's trunk, and a two and a-half dollar gold piece 
in his pocket. For the.se he joined with his wife and 
daughter in returning thanks ; then left them at the 
hotel and proceeded him.self immediately to the office 
of Mr. Morton. 

To an upper room in his warehouse, where they 
would be unmolested by callers, Mr. Morton took him, 
bade him be seated and tell all. Mr. Reed was seated 
and told all. 'When he was through Mr. Morton said, 
"Well, as I .see this situation, the first thing to be done 
is to procure some means for your family to live on, 
and some employment for yourself by which you can 
earn a living. Have you thought of anything ; have 
you anything to suggest yourself? I suppose, hardly 
in your present state of mind." 

"Yes, Mr. Morton," replied Reed, in a calm, reso- 
lute voice, which Morton saw admitted of no argu- 
ment, " I have thought of something ; I have a well- 
matured plan which I intend to pursue. First, try to 
fix my family in some little way by which they may 
live comfortably by earning something for themselves 
in some respectable manner, and I shall find employ- 
ment for myself as a private in the ranks of the United 
States army, doing what I can to suppress this re- 
bellion, conceived in hell, born in iniquity, and carried 
on for the purpose of maintaining human bondage." 



THE BURSTED STORM. 169 

" Do you look upon that as permanent?" asked Mr. 
Morton. 

"I look upon it, Mr. Morton, as more permanent than 
you perhaps anticipate. If there is anything I would 
urge on you and the people of the North, it is to dispel 
the illusion that this war will be over in three months. 
I understand that there are opinions prevailing to a 
considerable extent that the South will, after all, make 
no actual resistance. Let me tell you that they will ; 
that they will have to be suppressed largel}' by sheer 
force of numbers. I know you think thej' lack the 
resources, the numbers, and probably the endurance, if 
not the real courage, of the Northern people. But, let me 
tell you, their country has to be invaded, an advantage 
that will well nigh compensate for their numerical in- 
feriority; and, while I believe we will ultimatel}^ sup- 
press them, let me prophesy to you now, that it will be 
onl}'^ when we have not merely called for seventj^-five 
thousand troops, but when we have found graves for 
that mau}' human beings, and expended perhaps two 
hundred million dollars." 

When Mr. Reed had fini.shed these remarks there 
was a slight pause, during which time no angel raised 
the curtain and showed them that these figures, as- 
tounding as they seemed to be, should be increased to 
359,000 lives actuall}' lost by the North alone, nearly 
as many b}^ the South, and a national debt lacking a 
trifle of $3,000,000,000. So the silence was simply 
broken by Mr. Morton saying, "Well, let us go see 
your family, and then we will all go up to the house. 
Mary will be relieved, at least ; she has been in such a 
state of anxiety these two weeks. In fact, we have 
all been in that condition, for we could hear nothing, 



170 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

as I have said, except what came in Mrs. CHnton's 
letter to Mrs. Bernard, in which she said there would 
necessarily be a temporary suspension of all social and 
business relations, which rather increased than allayed 
our anxiety, as it made no mention of you whatever." 
They all proceeded to the house, where Mrs. Mary 
Reed (better known to Walter Graham as Aunt Mary) 
received with rapturous joy her brother-in-law, her 
sister-in-law and niece : for Mr. Reed was none other 
than the full brother of Jno. Reed, her deceased hus- 
band, and, con.sequently his daughter Emma was the 
cousin of her daughter Ida (whose picture Walter had 
seen), who was the cousin of Blanch Morton, who was 
the cousin of Maggie Bernard, who all lived in 
America in the days of the great civil war and saw the 
storm burst. 




CHAPTER XL 

MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 

" Nevertheless not my will, but Thine be done." 

AND it came to pass in the land of America, in the 
- days of the great civil war, after the storm had 
burst and the first heavy dash of excitement had 
fallen, there come a lull, and it was sufficiently calm in 
the vicinity of Shocktown for Walter Graham to work 
a whole day without running three times to the village 
for the paper, and to the telegraph office to catch the 
latest news. Things were sufficiently settled for the 
young folks to think once more of social pleasures; 
for Maggie Bernard to be sufficiently composed to con- 
ceive the idea of a boating pic-nic and a grand good 
time among the trees, the flowers, and on Graham's 
dam, on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year. 
And accordingly it happened that Walter had an 
opportunity to meet once more with Blanch Morton, 
for of course, cousin Maggie would see to it that cousin 
Blanch and little Harry — as the Bernards called him 
— were invited. 

She could not invite Will, upon this occasion, for 
he had gone off with some other college boys in the 
three months' service, but Blanch would naturally have 
delegated to her the special privilege of bringing with 
her cousin Ida, whose term at college had just closed ; 
and Ida's cousin Emma, the young refugee from the 
South, with whom they were all anxious to meet. 

Amelia Kerr was there, as was also cousin Annie, 



172 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

who had slipped out for her first summer's stroll in the 
country; but Henry Kerr was not there, for he, like 
Will. Morton, had enlisted in the three months' service. 
So Amelia and Miss lycsher had fallen back on " Little 
Baldy ' ' to bring them over on this occasion ; but 
cousin Annie was not long without a special escort, for 
Frank Swave soon became quite marked in his atten- 
tions, and Walter even heard her say, in her open, 
frank way, when the other girls twitted her about it, 
that ' ' of course she had received a letter from him 
since she was out in the winter, and of course she had 
answered it, too." 

Dave Miller could not be there on this occasion, as 
he too, like Will. Morton and Henry Kerr, was unavoid- 
ably detained as a private in the army. These three, 
and two men who were employed in the iron works 
farther down on Silver Creek, were in fact the only 
ones Walter knew who had actually enlisted ; not- 
withstanding there were several others training in the 
home guards and talking of going into the regular 
service if there should prove to be any serious necessity. 

Whether this second meeting with Blanch Morton 
was an evil omen or a good one, Walter was unable to 
decide in his own mind. To look into that countenance 
while mingling with flowers and trees on a bright June 
day, which had so impressed him on a rough, March 
eve, was certainly a pleasing sensation ; but whether 
or not it was only awakening delusive expectations, 
dreams that could never be realized, was what annoyed 
him. Certain it was he looked at her all the same 
whenever he could without being caught in the act. 
It must not be inferred from this, that he did not look 
occasionally at Amelia Kerr, who was still so kind and 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RKSIGNKD. 173 

comely; though once it did half occur to him that 
perhaps she was treating him more like a mother than 
a lover. Neither must it be supposed that he did not 
find himself occasionally being highly entertained by 
Miss Lesher's wit and candor, nor that he did not oc- 
casionally sally forth in the direction of that graceful 
form and tho.se rich blue eyes of Maggie Bernard's, 
although she did adroitl}' turn him aside and steal 
away with High. Bowers, just as she had done years 
before on the play-ground at the old public school. 
Nor must it be imagined that he did not seem deeply 
interested in the story of ' ' the young heroine from the 
South," as the other girls called Miss Reed, as he was 
receiving a special introduction to her and ' ' cousin 
Ida, Aunt Mary's daughter," by Blanch. 

And Miss Reed, it must be admitted, had a bewitch- 
ing little way about her as she would turn up her dark 
brown eyes, and talked rather intelligently and spirit- 
edly on most topics, especially on literature, in which 
Walter discovered she was quite well versed. 

Cousin Ida, at first sight, was perhaps the least 
fascinating of any of the girls ; indeed, he was rather 
disposed to vote her quite homely in his mind, as he 
offered her his hand, but he soon discovered that the 
hght of intelligence was on her countenance ; that it 
was illumined with something that warranted a second 
inspection. Farther on in the afternoon he found his 
opinion changing as to her features ; he believed 
they were not homely, after all ; he was sure, before 
evening, that her mind was cultured and her soul was 
pure. 

In this whirl of gay young girls Walter began to 
wonder if he really was possessed of such a singular 



174 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

combination of the elements as to fall in love with all 
of them — each, in turn, as he met them. 

Yet, before the day was over, he found him.self un- 
consciously doing, most of all, what his will had 
forbidden — yielding, with great pliancy, to that 
penetrating glance of Blanch Morton's — those half 
crossed eyes which had such a strange mixture of the 
searching and the kind. She was one of a group which 
he rowed acro.ss the dam and back again ; and what a 
thrill went through him as .she said, with such un- 
feigned sincerity, " You seem to be an excellent rower, 
Mr. Graham. I think we can put our absolute trust in 
you." And then, the torture he felt to think she was 
sitting at the wrong end of the boat when the.se words 
fell from her lips ; what perverse circumstances, he 
thought, had placed her face to his back ; and he 
smiled, as best he could, at the "young heroine from 
the South," and Miss Lesher, who sat fronting him and 
were sportively splashing the water on him with the tips 
of their fingers. How contrary and provokingly quiet 
the elements seemed to be — not the slightest sign of a 
hurricane; the boat wouldn't upset; no opportunity 
likel)' to occur for him to rescue a group of drowning 
girls; to drag Blanch, almost beyond resuscitation, to 
the shore ; to challenge her love for the dangers he had 
ri.sked, for the hero he could prove him.self to be. 
Surely, this was the way he had read of it happening 
in books; but then, of course, he reflected, here I am 
in real life and nothing of the kind happening ; not 
even an angry wave in sight ; all placid and calm as 
were the leaves of the old willows at their landing 
place, on the shore, which dipped their branches so 
modestly down to the water's edge ; and at which place 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 175 

stood Tom Svvave reaching out his hand so politely to 
help the girls to the shore, to which Blanch replied 
so kindly as she accepted it, " Thank you." 

Accordingly, as he walked up across the meadow to 
his home in the evening he looked back and saw Tom 
walking by Blanch's side as the company were pro- 
ceeding to the village, and he was sure he saw her 
smile her usual thoughtful smile in his face as he had 
made perhaps some very entertaining remark, and in- 
stantly a feeling arose in his breast in reference to Tom 
Swave, such as he had never experienced before. 

It never occurred to him, as he looked into that 
sincere, earnest face of his sister Mary, and those rich 
black eyes of little vSue's, which fairly sparkled with 
intelligence and grit, that others were casting wistful 
glances up across the meadow. But he went home, 
donned his working clothes, did some evening chores, 
sat down on a log by the mill and began to meditate, 
inquiring, ' ' What is this that now rankles at the 
thought of my old and trusted friend, whom I have 
defended even to my mother ?" 

Walter felt, as he sat there in the twilight, that 
the bond which existed between him and Tom had 
always been that of genuine friendship. All his rival- 
ries with him, either on the play-ground or in the 
class-room, had been generous ones. In all these 
contests he felt he could truthfully say he had never 
cherished an unkind or envious feeling toward him. 
Why, then, this strange feeling now ? Is this the green- 
eyed monster ? and that, too, about a girl of whom he 
had bid his every emotion be still — a girl whom neither 
of us have any more real chance of winning as a wife 
than we have of Queen Victoria's daughter ? But, hold! 



17() WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

at that thought ; Tom is such a plausible fellow. True, 
his station in life would not be considered very differ- 
ent from my own, but then he always had such an 
agreeable way. He half trembled at the thought. 

He proceeded to the house. In due time he retired; 
he tossed a good bit in the bed ; Joe asked him what 
was the matter? He was frightened again, when he 
reflected how nearly he involuntaril}- let the words slip 
out, " I'm in love," but he just caught them in time to 
substitute, " It's too warm to sleep to-night ; we must 
throw some more covers back." He finally took a pil- 
low and lay down upon the floor. Had he been a 
little older, or had it been in the present age, he could 
have called it insomnia. But here he was dead stuck ; 
no other word to call it but madly in love, and jealous 
at that, of his true and loyal friend ; then, besides, not 
three months since he had bid his soul be still and 
banish Blanch Morton from his mind, with all the reso- 
lution that he could command. Ah, frailty ! thy name 
is a boy of eighteen ; he almost uttered this thought 
aloud. 

And now. to you, mj^ friends of riper years, who look 
upon even love from a more philosophic standpoint — 
don't judge Walter Graham too severely; be sure that 
you yourselves have never experienced anj' more pure 
or unselfish sentiment than was his for Blanch Morton 
that night. 

Please don't dismiss the subject by calling it the love 
of only eighteen years, and destined to pass off" with 
the same ease as all those which had preceded it. Who 
can say that the}' each in turn had not been pure and 
unalloyed, the simple behests of nature's great decree 
upon a warm and sympathetic heart ? 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 177 

Whether this love for Blanch would prove more 
stable than those that had gone before or succeed en- 
tirely in keeping his mind from reverting to the old 
ones, or forever bar him from taking new ones to his 
heart, is not necessar}' now to decide ; but, for the time 
being, I believe it was pure and hoi}' ill the sight of God. 
And it is a doubtful question whether the old bachelors 
and maids of fifty, who may incline to be facetious 
about it, ever listened more thoroughly to the voice of 
judgment than did Walter Graham that night. 

It is doubtful whether he himself ever did a more 
truly great, self-sacrificing or heroic act in all his life 
than he did that night, when his bosom rent with the 
passion of all passions, he deliberately reached the con- 
clusion before he closed his eyes in sleep, that come 
what would, he had no right to feel a jealous or en- 
vious pang towards Tom Swave. It was just as natural 
for him to fall a victim to the same fascinating powers 
as it was for himself to have done so. No, to him, his 
friend from almost his earliest recollection, whose moral 
fibre it was true he sometimes felt a trifle lower than his 
own, a fact which he well knew had sometimes caused 
his mother a little anxiety ; but still a friend who had 
never shown him aught but kindness all his life ; who, 
whatever else might be laid at his door, could not 
be charged with selfishness — to him his friendship 
should never change. Thus Walter solemnly resolved 
that night, under the light of the stars and the dew- 
drops, that he would meet Tom in the morning with the 
same cordiality as ever and that if the worst should ever 
come, he could stand by and see him lead Blanch Mor- 
ton to the altar as his wife without betraying any emo- 
tion. Nay, more ; that night, as he lay there upon the 



178 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

floor, he resolved that unless this war should be over 
in a short time he would enlist. So many passions, 
both love and patriotism tearing him to pieces at once, 
required heroic treatment. He would give himself the 
dose. 

Accordingly, the next day, when he met Tom, they 
discussed the pic-nic in their usual affable manner. 
Accordingly, the next Sunday', when he took his after- 
noon stroll, he told Tom and Jake Hoover, with great 
earnestness, that he would stay and help his father in 
with the harvest, and if the war were not over then, or 
gave no evidence of being over in a short time, he was 
going to enlist, 

Tom replied in an equally earnest manner, " Pon- 
der well what you are doing ; the next soldiers will be 
enlisted for three years. While I am for maintaining 
the Union, I tell you, a man has got to reflect a little 
on going in for three years ; and, besides, I know 
father would bring me back while mother remains in 
her delicate condition at least." Walter replied, 
"That's what bothers me the most, thoughts of 
mother; but I have made up my mind ; and, besides, 
no one expects the war to last three years. ' ' 

" I doubt if Mr. Williamson expects that, and mind 
you, his vision is pretty clear." 

And accordingly Walter stayed and helped in with 
the harvest, and watched to see if the " war were really 
going to amount to much." And accordingly the 
harvest was almost over ; they were hurrying in the 
last of the oats, when Walter was convinced, the home 
guards of Shocktown were convinced. Congress was con- 
vinced, in fact the whole North was largely convinced 
that the war would not be over in ninety days. The 
vigor of the combat in Mis.souri and the killing of 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 179 

General Ivyous at Wilson's Creek, the surrender of 
Colonel Mulligan at Lexington, had a tendency to 
convince them of that fact ; but the disaster of our 
army at Bull Run had perhaps most thoroughly 
strengthened that conviction. 

Hence it was that Walter Graham's future course 
was clear. How much it was really determined b3' 
his resolutions to drown his hopeless love, or to do 
something heroic that would make the girls sure to 
love him, or because his hopes and plans for the law 
seemed at least temporarily frustrated; or whether, as 
he cast his eye down the list of Presidents, and indeed 
nine-tenths of our statesmen, he saw that they had 
graduated either in the law or on the tented field, that 
notwithstanding all our burlesque of the one and 
horror of the other, it was through one of these two 
gateways they practically all have passed ; whether 
it was because while willing to admit that "Peace 
hath her victories no less renowned than war," he now 
perceived the goal of his ambition lay through the 
latter path ; to what extent any or all of these con- 
siderations, deep down in the hidden recesses of his 
heart, shaped his course, you and I, perhaps, may never 
know. It is, perhaps, unfair that we should question 
it too closely now. Suffice it to say from all that we 
have heard of Walter up to this time, of his antece- 
dents, his parents, his education, the influences which 
had surrounded him, and the bent of his mind, he 
could consistently attribute it all to patriotism. 

It is only necessary now to say that in the fulness of 
time he made known his intention to his mother. It 
was on a warm July evening, under the cherry tree, a 
few days after the battle of Bull Run. 



180 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Mrs. Graham neither fainted nor screamed, nor went 
into hysterics ; aside from the conversation Joe and Sue 
had reported as having overheard between Walter and 
the neighboring boys, she had her own premonitions 
all along as to what might happen. She had reached 
the conclusion that, all things considered, it was perhaps 
better that she interpose no parental authority to pre- 
vent it. She was no better, she reasoned, and perhaps, 
making no greater sacrifice than hundreds of thousands 
of other mothers throughout the land, who she felt 
morallj' certain would be called upon to do the same 
before this war was over. As to asking her husband 
to interpose any objections to his own son enlisting, 
she well understood this would place him in too incon- 
sistent a light before the world. Jacob Graham's 
opinions as to the war she thoroughly understood were 
too well-known in the community for any objecting 
words to come from his mouth. 

What Mrs. Graham did do, however, was to look 
her son steadily in the face, and after he had disclosed 
his purpose, say with the deep devotion and tremulous 
voice of a mother, "Walter, do you think you have 
the faintest idea of what you are going into ? " 

" Yes, mother," said Walter with great sincerity, " I 
understand thoroughly what I am going to do ; I 
have given this matter my best thought. You know, 
mother, I have alwa3's had a strong constitution; I am 
over all my childhood diseases (mumps, measles, chick- 
enpox), and everj'thing of the kind. I am sure I can 
stand the exposures of the camp, which may not be 
severe after all ; we may have a great deal of garrison 
duty to do and things of that kind, and as for the 
actual killed in battle, you know, mother, statistics 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. I8l 

show that even in the severest wars, the percentage is 
comparatively small." 

"Walter," replied his mother, "I am only a woman 
and don't claim to be a great statesman, but do you 
believe me, you are going into a war, than which there 
has perhaps been none more severe in recorded time." 

Walter looked at his mother for a few minutes and 
made no reply. Mrs. Graham, continuing, said, " Wal- 
ter, who else, what other boys of the neighborhood are 
going?" 

"Well," said Walter, "Mr. Wagner is going; Mr. 
Flora, another of my old teachers ; Jack Matson is go- 
ing ; Boyle's two boys, Jake and Bill ; Sam lyong and 
Bob are going; Pat McKnight is going; and Dave Miller 
and Henry Kerr are both going back again, as soon as 
they come home. Henry Kerr was the only one you 
saw, so far, that went from around here, w^ho was 
in the battle of Bull Run. He may be one of the offi- 
cers of our company, and I guess Mr. Hirsh will go, if 
he can get to be chaplain, and Dr. Cairn talks of going 
as a surgeon." 

" Tom Swave is not going then," replied his mother, 
"or Frank, either." 

" No," said Walter. " Tom says the shock would be 
too great for his mother, and I believe it might ; I 
know it is not because he is a coward." 

Mrs. Graham looked again into the eyes of her son 
and gave utterance to the one expression, for which 
she was the most sorry, perhaps of all others during 
the remainder of her life, as follows: "Walter, Tom 
Swave has no more notion of enlisting than I have. 
His mother is no better than any other mother, and I 
doubt if she is a particle more delicate than some of 



182 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the rest of us. He always has exercised an undue in- 
fluence over you, and always will, unless this is to be 
the circumstance that is to destroy it. In one way I 
am well satisfied that he is not going with 3'ou in the 
same compan}^ but it shows he is capable of seeing 
other hearts distressed while his is safe. I thought, 
perhaps Frank, whom I always thought a better char- 
acter than Tom, might be going, but it seems not; they 
are both willing to stand back and let you go, the 
youngest of all those you have mentioned." 

Walter, clasping tighter his mother's hand, which 
had been in his all the while, looked at her with some- 
thing like astonishment and pity, and said, "Mother, 
I may possibly have been deceived in Tom all these 
years, but all that I can say now is, that it is not he 
that is urging me to go; it is entirely my own act ; he 
has rather dissuaded me. ' ' 

"Is that so," said Mrs. Graham thoughtfully, as 
she impressed a kiss upon the brow of her son, and 
left him for the present. Walter laj' back upon the 
grass when she had gone, and said aloud, " I wonder 
what it is that mother sees so dangerous in my con- 
tact with Tom Swave ? Her suspicions almost make 
me cast him off, and yet I always have liked him." 

And Mrs. Graham went to her room and asked God 
to forgive her for the severe judgment she had pa.ssed 
upon the Swave boys : "for Tom has a generous nature, 
I admit, and that is why Walter likes him ; maybe he 
is onl}'^ being considerate of his delicate mother after 
all, for I am not sure that I shall be able to endure this 
myself. Oh, God, watch over my boy and preserve 
him." And she lay down on the bed exhausted. 

But she arose the next morning, and went about her 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 183 

work calm and compcsed ; and continued so until the 
28th of September, the day Walter's regiment was to 
leave Sharwood ; the men of the neighborhood were 
running to town each day with some messages 
and news for friends and relatives while the regiment 
was recruiting. But Mrs. Graham had simply said the 
day it left she was going to Sharwood. It was princi- 
pally a Jefferson County regiment ; Walter was a pri- 
vate of Company G. The number of the regiment was 
either the Forty-fifth, Fifty-fifth, Sixty-fifth, Seventy- 
fifth, or Eighty-fifth. Mrs. Graham would sometimes 
forget herself ; she always remembered, however, there 
was a fifth to it ; in fact it is not at all necessary for 
our purposes, at present, which it was, except that for 
convenience sake I will hereafter designate it as the 
Seventy-fifth. That number is easily remembered ; in 
fact, the boys were already beginning to call it "the 
gallant old Seventy-fifth," " the bloody old Seventy- 
fifth," and such other appellations as were calculated 
to stimulate local pride. 

Early on the morning of the 28th, the streets of Shar- 
wood were thronged with people from the county; her 
own twenty-five thousand inhabitants seemed to be 
astir. Mrs. Graham had come in the evening before, 
and remained all night with Miss Lesher, whose father 
kept a flourishing grocery store on one of the promi- 
nent corners, and her brother John was a member of 
Company B. The regiment was to leave at 10:00 A. M. 
They were to have a short parade through the principal 
streets at half-past eight ; at nine the Governor was to 
review them. At half-past nine he was to address 
them, the ladies were to present their flag, and the col- 
onel was to respond. But now Mrs. Graham and 



184 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Walter had their first experience of the sometimes inex- 
plicable delay of military operations, Half-past eight 
came and went, the tov.'n clock was striking nine, and 
the regiment not yet formed in line ; half-past nine had 
arrived, they received their first orders to fall in, they 
stood until half-past ten, going through the manual of 
arms followed by a short march around the camp, then 
dismissed until half-past eleven ; some said it was ' ' be- 
cause the transportation had not arrived yet," some 
said it was "because the Governor did not come," some 
said, " the Governor had died on the way," some said 
it was " because the ladies had forgotten to put all the 
stars on the flag, and they had taken it home to finish 
it." At all events they formed in line again at half- 
past eleven to receive their flag, and then to be dis- 
missed again with imperative orders to be read}^ 
promptly at i:oo p. m., for their final departure. Wal- 
ter and his mother slipped home with Miss Lesher to 
take their dinner. Brother John was with them, of 
course ; Miss Lesher .seemed active and vivacious, as 
.she would say, "You boys can take a mutual care of 
each other." Mrs. Graham seemed rather quiet and 
thoughtful. At i:oo o'clock, .sharp, they were back in 
camp, but it was one-half hour later before they were 
formed in line ; they then finally started off for a march 
through the principal streets of the town ; it was half- 
past two before they were drawn up in a solid square 
in an open lot in front of the Governor. He addressed 
them iJiter alia as follows.: 

"It is no pleasant feeling to see you leave your 
homes as you do now, with fathers, mothers, wives, 
sisters, and sweethearts around to bid you your final 
adieu, but I know that your patriotism, your .sen.se of 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 185 

dut}- ha.s compelled you to do it. And your patriotism, 
your courage, and your love for those you have left 
behind, will sustain you in any perils through which 
you shall be called to pass. Much as we shall pity 
you in your trials, I should pity you infinitely more, if 
I thought 3'ou were born of soul so mean, of spirits so 
abject, as to dare to hope that you might shirk the 
duty which patriotism has now laid upon you, that you 
should turn a deaf ear to the voice of your country now 
assailed by treason and treachery. To arm, to disci- 
pline, to equip, and send forth to the field of battle the 
sons of my native State, has now become my unpleas- 
ant duty. But I know, brave soldiers of the Seventy- 
fifth, that your conduct shall never bring the blush of 
shame to me, to our State, to your friends, or to your- 
selves. Let this beautiful flag, which the ladies of 
your town have presented you, be soiled or torn, and 
rent with bullets it may be, but let treachery or cow- 
ardice blast it never. ' ' 

Loud cries came up from the thousands of voices in 
confusion, " We will not, Governor," and such expres- 
sions as, " We will never let her touch the ground ;" 
" Bully for you. Governor;" "That's the stuff," and 
then, "Three cheers for the Governor." It was now 
half-past three; the train had actually pulled up on the 
track ; it consisted of freight cars with a window sawed 
out of each end, and one on each side for ventilation; a 
few board seats in each car completed the accommoda- 
tions The last farewells had been said, the boys were 
about to get in them, when the train suddenly moved 
back on to the cattle siding, to let the Western Express 
pass. The Western Express was twenty minutes late ; 
some of the boys in this interval slipped across in 



186 WALTER GRAHAIV, , STATESMAN. 

squads to a neighboring saloon to get a beer. Mrs. 
Graham wondered for one instant if Walter would ever 
be among these, and a slight tremor came over her as 
she thought, " If he ever does live to come back, will it 
be dissipated and demoralized by the habits of the 
camp?" but no, she would not torture herself with this 
thought about her boy. 

"To doubt would be disloj-alty. 
To falter would be sin." 

Finally the Western Express passed, the train 
pulled up again ; again it pulled out on another side- 
ing, no person knew what for this time ; again it de- 
layed about ten minutes ; while the soldiers gravely 
discussed the causes of the dela}-, as each in turn de- 
clared that they would ' ' sooner hav^e gone into a 
battle at once than fool this way all day," or that they 
"would have sooner marched twenty miles," or that 
' ' they were actually more tired than if thej^ had 
worked all day." But now she came backing down on 
the main track again. It is just half-past four ; the 
sun is shining brightly. The final martial order is 
given: ''All aboard; Company G, get in these two 
cars here ;" the}' bounce in ; some little delay again ; 
it is twent}- minutes of five. Hark ! Three long, 
loud, .shrill whistles go up from the locomotive. An- 
other minttte, the wheels are .seen to move. Walter, 
with some others, has jumped on the top of his car; 
the movement of the train is quite perceptible now ; 
he waves his final adieu to his mother ; the train is 
moving faster ; the populace is drowning the sotmd of 
the locomotive with their cheers. The front of the 
train has rounded the upper part of the depot ; it is out 
of sight ; the cheers grow louder, the handkerchiefs are 



MRS. GRAHAM IS RESIGNED. 187 

flying thicker and faster from fair ladies' hands, the 
soldiers are waving their flag, their voices are swelling 
the notes of the Star Spangled Banner. The rear of 
the train has passed the depot, the smoke of the engine 
is fading, fading; 'tis faded away. The rear of the 
train has passed; 'tis going; 'tis out of sight; it is gone. 
Will it ever come back to Sharwood, bringing Walter 
Graham with it ? That was the question Mrs. Graham 
asked herself, as she turned her face away, and an- 
swered it to herself, saying, God only knows, and to 
him I can only sa}^ " Thy will be done, not mine." 




(Q) 



CHAPTER XII. 

SHOCKTOlViX I.X MOfR\I.\G. 

" Thy brow, 
Glorious ill beauty though it l)e, is scarred 
With tokens of old wars.'' —Biyant. 
"Not painlessly doth God recast, 
And mould anew the Nation." — W'hittier. 

iy /TRS. GRAHAM, accompanied by Miss Lesher, 
^^ turned her steps toward the depot to take her 
own train for Shocktown. But Walter's train kept 
rolling on in the opposite direction. He sat with Dave 
Miller and Bob Long on the top of the car, viewing the 
county in that autumn sunset through the twilight 
and far into the night. They finally crawled down and 
through the window into the car. The seats were all 
occupied, and several of the men were stretched out on 
the floor. Walter got his musket, rested the butt of it 
on the floor, the top of it against the side of the car, 
squatted down in a sitting posture with his legs astride 
it, with his arms arotnid it, and endeavored to sleep 
while his train plunged on over hill and valley, through 
ravine and forest, he knew not whither, save that it was 
generally understood their regiment had been assigned 
to one of the divisions of the West. 

His short naps were usually broken by some one 
tramping on his toes, or tumbling on him. Towards 
midnight the train stopped at a town that looked about 
the size of Sharwood. There they were ordered to get 
out and take supper ; the citizens of the town had 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 189 

something prepared. The ladies seemed to be out in 
force, helping to wait on the table. While they ate, 
speeches were made by the Hon. Mr. Grass, and Hon. 
Mr. Brass. An hour later he was back in his car, but 
had no seat. Some time before daylight the train 
stopped, jerked up, and started, and stopped, and 
backed, and finally stood still until daylight. The 
boys looked out, and said we are at the outskirts of the 
clever little town. They were ordered out, formed in 
line, marched around ; the rain was coming down in 
torrents, they marched through the town to the other 
side ; there they halted for breakfast. Again some 
provisions seemed to be provided for them, but the 
mess pots and the coffee pots were directly under the 
droppings of a shed roof. Walter looked around, and 
said "he believed he was not hungry." He felt in 
his haversack for the sandwiches his mother had pro- 
vided for him ; out of that abundant supply there was 
only half a one there ; he ate that and slipped off with 
Bill Boyle to get an 03\ster stew. 

They lay there until the middle of the afternoon, 
and then started off on another train, and passed 
through about the same experiences until the next 
morning. Daylight gradually stole upon them while they 
were again lying switched on a side track ; again they 
were at the outskirts of a city, a large one this time ; it 
was Cincinnati. Again the rain was pouring fast; 
again they marched through the .streets to some other 
point on the out.skirts. As they broke ranks, their 
captain told them they might take shelter under the 
projecting eaves of an adjoining warehouse. It did not 
seem to be a very ample protection for a hundred men, 
as the roof extended over the sides of the building only 



190 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

about three and a half feet, and yet it is wonderful how 
nearly it was sufficient on this occasion. Walter again 
looked around. He saw mud in superabundance, but 
his ej'e happened to catch one little handful of straw 
about large enough, as the boys said, to make a hen's 
nest. This he gathered up carefull}-, laid it back 
against the wall, and then laid his hand and shoulders 
down on it, his feet drawn carefully up to keep him out 
of the heaviest droppings from the roof, his gum 
blanket under him, his overcoat thrown over him, and 
there he slept the sleep of exhaustion. 

Ah, Walter, Walter ! are you quite sure, even now, 
that you "understood thoroughly what you were going 
into? " You told your mother so, but even she doubted 
it. I can only say for you, however, that you have at 
least not regretted your step, and that you have taken 
one more resolution on yourself — that your mother 
shall never know from your pen what you are endur- 
ing. It is therefore unnecessary to follow you all 
through what is yet to come. How you awoke some- 
what refreshed, but considerably stiff; how you went 
with Henry Kerr and Dave Miller that afternoon to see 
Cincinnati, and to the theatre that night to hear Ham- 
let ; how you felt your pockets the next morning to 
find those two five- dollar gold pieces, which your father 
gave you, were gone ; how your regiment got on a 
large steamboat the next day and sailed down the Ohio 
River ; how you stopped at a point about three in the 
afternoon, and marched about five miles across the coun- 
try, where you met some other troops. 

How your two old teachers, Messrs. Wagner and 
Flora, looked around and said, " Shall we go by threes 
or Sves ?" "In either case I think, Walter, we will take 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 191 

you herewith us," said Mr. Wagner; "I know your 
mother expects you to bunk with me.'" How Dave 
Miller and Henry Kerr finally joined you; the tent 
being up, how they all said, "Now Walter, you are 
the youngest ; perhaps you had better crawl into the 
far end ;" how you, the youngest of the gioup (and 
there were not thirty boys in all the regiment 
younger than yourself), crawled into the far end ; how 
you all lay down that night on the naked soil of Ken- 
tucky, looked out through the cracks of your canvas and 
saw the " stars and the dew-drops waiting for you ; " 
how you awoke the next morning in the mist and rain, 
with 3'our legs aching, your back aching, your head 
aching, your appetite missing ; how you poured down 
your throat, even with the approval of Mr. Wagner, 
and by the prescription of Dr Cain, a pretty stiff draft 
of whisky from the canteen ; how it seemed to break up 
and tide you over the first shock of malaria ; how you 
went on to drill that forenoon all the same, determined 
not to be the first man in your company to ask to be 
excused. But why go into detail ; why stop to tell 
you all the weary days and nights that Walter marched 
up and down Kentucky and Tennessee with the old 
Seventy-fifth, tired by day, and home-sick by night, 
until far into the winter, when he stood at the gates 
of Fort Donaldson and heard the cannons roar and saw 
the missiles fly, and knew that the news would soon 
spread through old Jefferson County that his regiment 
had been engaged ; that he had witnessed those fifteen 
thousand rebels unconditionally surrender their arms 
to Unconditional Surrender Grant. True, the old Sev- 
enty-fifth had not been in the thickest of the fray, nor 
had its loss been severe, as it consisted of none killed 



102 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

and two wounded : but still, they were veterans now ; 
no discounting that fact ; the girls about Shocktown 
would be sure to hear it, and, perchance the fact might 
even reach Blanch Morton's ears, though he knew she 
was now away at Vassar College 

Wh}' stop now, Walter, to crowd into a few pages 
that part of yiur history, which seemed to older men 
than yourself to include centuries ; how two months-^ 
later you stood on Shiloh's bloody field, and saw for two 
and thirty hours the result hang doubtfully in the 
balance ; how in the very last ten minutes of that gory 
contest you felt something like a sharp sting prick your 
right arm. The victory was won, but you were wounded. 
The loss of the old Seventy-fifth was severe enough 
this time, but her record was established ; j'^our injur}^ 
was but a slight one through the fleshy part of your 
arm, but it was sufficient to make you a hero at Shock- 
town. Your vigorous constitution .served you remark- 
ably well, and the wound healed \vith wonderful 
rapidity, detaining you in the hospital only two weeks, 
during which time you could hardl}" have told which 
was gratified the most, your boyish pride, or your 
curiosity to experience the .sensations of one in actual 
battle. How the spring passed and the summer came, 
and you were still trudging through the swamps of 
Mi.ssissippi, and over Arkansas roads, ankle deep with 
mud, inhaling miasma and fighting malaria. How 
you stopped one day in Tennessee to help construct a 
railroad, when the brigadier general came along inquir- 
ing "if there was anyone in this brigade who could 
repair an engine ; " how you saw a lieutenant from an 
Iowa regiment step up to examine it ; how j'ou looked 
in his face for a minute and exclaimed, " Hello, Sam. 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 193 

Blair, where did you come from ? " How he looked in 
your face for an instant and exclaimed, " Good heavens, 
this isn't little Graham, is it, that used to sit on the 
bank by the old school-house and watch me and little 
And}' Jackson stall around the curve?" and how you 
explained that it was, and how many others of the 
Shocktown boys were there, and he explained how he 
had gone to Iowa some years before, was master 
mechanic in the shops of one of the principal roads 
there when the war broke out, and, now behold, you 
have met dowm here in Tennessee under rather peculiar 
circumstances. 

Nay! more, Walter. How, as the summer rolled on, 
you began to inquire more seriously in your mind what 
you were all down there for. How you were impressed, 
and have been ever since the e^-ening of the 4th day of 
July, when an old contraband negro, apparently in age 
anywhere from eighty to a hundred years, strayed into 
your camp, and after furnishing amusement for the 
boys for a considerable time, a.sked you and Mr. Wag- 
ner in a very quizzical manner, " If you has 'eluded to 
take our people in wid you in dis fight yet." That he, 
upon receiving the somewhat faltering answer from 
both of you that you believed not, replied, with a glare 
in his eyes that astonished j^ou, "Well, you wall 'fore 
it over. " " Why ? " " Why, because de good lyOrd tell 
me dat you nebber get troo wid wat you undertaken, 
until you let our peoples go. ' ' 

How Mr. Wagner said to you, three days after, "Wal- 
ter, has that old darkey's conversation, or rather pro- 
phecy, been on your mind an}' since you heard it?" 

"Wonderfully so," was your reply; and how he 
asked you the further question, if you remembered the 
9 



U)4 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

answer you gave him up in the little academy the day 
old John Brown was hung, about us all going down 
South on the same errand. How you replied, " Yes, I 
recollect something of it, but I am forced to say there 
was no prophecy in mine ; it was unwittingly given." 

How Mr. Wagner replied, " Just so ; I understood it 
so at the time, and yet those two circumstances have 
been in my head constantly ever since we met the old 
darkey." 

Yes, Walter, Mr. Wagner, people of the North, all 
of 3^ou, seme thought like that began to creep slowly 
into your heads. Foreigners began to ask what are 
the two sections fighting about ; both sides declare the}' 
d(jn't intend to disturb slavery. The question was per- 
tinent, and well calculated to cause reflection. Yes, 
Walter, you remember so distinctly how the papers 
from the North began to come down to you, telling of 
the disastrous campaign of McClellan and the Army of 
the Potomac on the Peninsula and before Richmond, 
of the retreat of Pope from Cedar Mountain to Bull 
Run, of the second defeat of our army there, of our 
whole forces east of the Alleghenies being practically 
back inside of the fortifications of Washington, where 
they were a year before. You remember, also, how the 
letters from home told you of the feelings of gloom and 
apprehension which began to pervade the people of the 
North ; how the call for "300,000 more" was being re- 
sponded to ; how the second crop of boys from about 
Shocktown included Joe and George Miller, Jake Hoover 
and Frank and Tom Swave. That was the part that 
gratified you most ; it vindicated your opinion of your 
friend, and proved that, for once, a mother's instincts 
were wrong. Yes, Mrs. Graham, you shall see that 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 195 

easy-going, smart Tom Swave was made of better stuff 
than you had supposed, for no man could charge him, 
or any other person who went at this crisis, with enter- 
taining the hope that his regiment might not be 
ordered to the front. And you were obHged to write 
to Walter with your own hand farther on, that Frank 
was seized with a violent fever a few months after he 
left ; that he lingered and wasted, and finally died in 
the hospital ; that he was brought home one cold win- 
try day, and laid in the little church-yard grave ; what 
a hard case it seemed to be! Poor Mrs. Swave was in 
such delicate health herself, unable really to follow him 
to the grave, and then her other only son and onlj' 
child away in the artrly at the time ; but the S3mipathy 
for her seemed universal. No funeral in the neighbor- 
hood had ev^er been so large. Poor Miss lycsher was 
one of the unfeigned mourners at it. She made no 
concealment of the fact that she had promised to be his 
wife, if he ever lived to come home. 

Before the next winter's snows had fallen you were 
compelled to write still further to your own dear 
Walter, that Tom had passed safely, but with great 
credit to himself, through the terrible carnage wrought 
on the blood}^ fields of Antietam, Fredericksburg and 
Chancellorsville, only to be carried on a stretcher from 
the immortal field of Gettj-sburg, with his right leg so 
lacerated that he would never entirely bear his weight 
upon it again ; lamed for life, to walk with a cane for- 
ever after, with the heel of one boot made an inch 
higher than the other to give him proper equipoise. 
How an imprudent news-boy ran through the village 
streets, two days after the battle, screaming out, " Shar- 



i 



196 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

wood papers! full account of our own losses! Jefferson 
County's gallant heroes! severe loss of the One Hun- 
dred and Seventeenth! Colonel L,ightner killed! I,ieu- 
tenant Swave mortally wounded ! " How poor Mrs. 
Swave, weak and emaciated, sitting by her chamber 
window, heard the sounds, and sank back on her bed 
never to rise again. How 3^ou, yourself, had gone to 
her side to minister to her day and night. How 
kind neighbors rushed in with later messages to tell 
her that Thomas was not mortally wounded after all ; 
it was only severely. How a letter came in a few days 
in his own hand-writing, saying, " Dear mother, don't 
be alarmed ; I am only slightl}' injured." How Jacob 
had dropped all business and gone to Gettysburg to 
relieve her mind, and do whatever else he could. But 
it was all too late. The .shock had been too great for 
her enfeebled constitution. She gradually sank lower 
and died. Died. Another victim of the war ; just as 
much as though she had been killed on the field of 
battle. But Tom himself came home before another 
snow had fallen, with his honorable discharge for 
physical disability and his commission as captain from 
the governor for gallantry on the field of battle. 

For this digression from Walter back to the scenes 
at Shocktown and the Swave family I hope the reader 
will pardon me, especially since it is but relating the 
news contained in his mother's letters since the July 
of 1862, when we left him down in the army of the 
Southwest, pondering with Mr. Wagner over the old 
darkey's prophecy. And there he kept pondering, and 
marching, ditching, and skirmishing, until one bleach- 
ing hot day in September there came a paper containing 
the preliminary proclamation of emancipation. It was 
commented on considerably through the ranks, though 



I 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURISIING. 197 

not quite as adversely as he had expected. Of course, 
he stood up for it stoutly, and he could not but notice 
how fast the boys were beginning to endorse it. In 
fact, adversity makes converts rapidly. The Union 
defeat at Fredericksburg the following" winter had 
rather deepened the gloom of the Union army. "Any 
port will do in time of storm," began to be the expres- 
sion that Walter heard fall from the lips of those who 
he knew would have bitterly opposed the idea of inter- 
fering with slavery in the States when the war com- 
menced. 

But the conversion which astounded him most was Bill 
Boyle's, who, one day in February, as they were march- 
ing along through the mud,. exhausted and hungry, 
turned his head and said abruptly, " Walt., do you re- 
member the da}- you thrashed me at the old school- 
house for abusing that little nigger, Ben. Smith? " 

"I remember something of it," said Walter, "but 
I hope we have both forgiven each other long since." 

"Well, I'm sure now I have forgiven 3^ou," replied 
Bill, "whatever doubt I may have had on the subject 
heretofore. What I want to say to you now is that I 
deserved that thrashing, and I thank you for giving it 
to me. I want you to tell your father in the next letter 
you write home, that I am an Abolitionist now ; as big 
a one as ever old John Williamson was or ever dare be. 
Tell him that I am perfectly willing to let a nigger .stop 
a rebel bullet before me, and if he is good enough to 
do that, he is good enough to be free. Of course, I'm 
atoning for my sins at a pretty rapid rate down here 

just now, but its a d -d strange thing to me if little 

Ben. Smith and his whole race are not avenged before 
this war is over. God Almighty hasn't sent this whole 



198 WALTER OR AH AM, STATESMAN. 

thing on this nation for nothing, is just the opinion I 
have come to." 

Do you remember? — of course you do — The look 
of astonishment you gave him as you slapped him on 
the shoulder, clasped him by the hand and said, " Oh, 
Bill, I will write it all home to father and to Mr. Wil- 
liamson himself." 

What a glorious thing, Walter, your vision did not 
carry you three months into the future, when you were 
destined to stand at Champion's Hill, while inch by 
inch that ground was being contested in deadly strife, 
and you saw poor Bill hurled instantly into eternity be- 
fore your eyes. Great God ! — in pity goes the exclama- 
tion up from your soul ; yes, poor Bill, his sins are 
atoned for now. Darkey Ben. Smith is avenged, while 
he is far away on Morris Island, also wearing a suit of 
blue. What a fortunate thing, Walter, you did not 
know that you had yet to charge with the gallant old 
Seventy-fifth before those ramparts at Vicksburg, and 
help to carry your old teacher, Mr. Wagner, who was 
to take a kind of parental care of you, off the field, 
bleeding from a ghastly wound in his side. How your 
regiment was to dig and ditch during that long siege, 
which was to ultimately force that Gibralter of the 
Mississippi to surrender to the inflexible Grant. How 
you were to see Bob Long seized with di.sease, waste 
away in a field hospital to death, to be carried out and 
buried in a trench. 

Ah, Walter ! Vicksburg has now surrendered, but 
your end is not yet, your three years not nearly expired, 
though you have never flinched, nor sent home a re- 
gretful word ; but you would like to see old Shock- 
town, all the same, once more, and the loved ones that 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 199 

are praying for you there. But you have yet to stand 
on Missionary Ridge's bloody crest, and see once more 
the ranks of the old Seventy-fifth defeated by rebel 
shot and shell. You shall stand and distinctly watch 
one fall on a rock before you, burst into a thousand 
fragments, knock Mr. Flora's right eye out, while one 
little sharp particle of it passes diagonall}^ over the 
temple of your own right brow, cutting a little scar there 
three-fourths of an inch long, almost as perfectly as if 
done with a knife. You shall rush forv^^ard even then 
to see who is this lying dead, while you both exclaim, 
Great God, its Adjutant L,esher ! Poor Miss lycsher, 
she has alread}' buried a lover, now you will send 
home to her the dead body of a brother. Meanwhile 
she begins to wonder if the Southerners are something 
more than ' ' a perfect set of blowhorns. ' ' 

But as all things earthly have an end, so there came 
a day at last when Walter Graham turned his face 
toward Chattanooga to take the cars for Shocktown. 
The epaulettes of a first lieutenant are upon his shoul- 
ders, placed there not by political favor and intrigue, 
but by reason of valor and scars. The one above his 
eye which he was afraid might disfigure him, healed to 
be almost imperceptible, though still distinct enough 
to be seen upon ordinary inspection. Nay, not enough 
to disfigure you, Walter, but rather to serve as your 
future passport to place and power ; that admiring 
friends may say veritably, 

"Thy brow, glorious with beauty though it be 
Is scarred with tokens of old wars." 

He boarded a north-bound train, but his eagerness to 
reach home far outran the speed of the cars. He 
turned his glance backwards, and thought about all 



200 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

that had happened since the evening he had so softly 
broken to his mother his intentions under the old 
cherry tree at home. Candor compelled him to say 
that he must now answer her question differentl}', that 
he did not have at that time a very definite idea of 
what he was going into, but he did now have a far more 
comprehensive idea of what was yet to happen to the 
nation, as he surveyed the field and saw the South 
was still far from being conquered. He thought of 
his old schoolmates about Shocktown that now lay 
buried, of his other friends and comrades maimed for 
life, of the hard fortune of the Swave family, of the 
last letter he had received from Emma Reed, the young 
heroine of the South, which convej^ed to him the in- 
telligence that her father had been killed at Kelley's 
Ford, in Virginia, and that she and her mother were 
trying to make a living by keeping a little millinery 
and trimming store in Mansdale. All this rushed 
through his mind as he drew from his pocket his little 
passbook and diary, and looked over the lines of a 
short poem of Whittier's, called the " Furnace Blast," 
which his mother had cut out of a newspaper and sent 
to him. He read aloud the first four lines : 

" We wait beneath the furnace blast 
The pangs of transportation ; 

Not painlessly doth God recast, 
And mould anew the nation." 

He stopped, read them again, and said thoughtfully, 
"I should think not " But in due time he put the 
poem back in his pocket, and left his thoughts waft on to 
Shocktown. He thought of all the nice letters he had 
received from all his lady friends while he was away ; 
from Miss Ida Reed (Aunt Mary's daughter), from 



SHOCKTOWN IN MOURNING. 201 

Maggie Bernard, from Amelia Kerr, and from Miss 
Lesher. Perhaps he understood better now why Miss 
Lesher was always so considerate, closing her letters by 
saying, "While I am always pleased to hear from you, 
don't feel that you must answer this letter at j^our great 
inconvenience, or when 5'ou feel you should be resting, 
rather than writing to your friends." Of course he un- 
derstood that all these girls corresponded with him 
rather from a sense of duty which all the patriotic girls 
of the North felt that they should send any sustain- 
ing word they could to their acquaintances in the 
army. But a strange feeling came over him now when 
he reflected that in all this time he had never received 
aline from Blanch Morton. "I thought I had suc- 
ceeded in forgetting her," he said to himself, "but I 
find I have not ; I remember now — what a strange fact! 
yes, I remember in the very charge before Vicksburg I 
thought of her. ' " 

And now with a herculean effort, he bid once more 
that thought be still. He drew from his pocket his last 
letter from his mother. He read it over three times, 
while tears stole slowly down his cheeks. He doubted 
after all if any love could be as pure, as loj'al, as true, 
as unselfish, as devoted, as sacrificing, as patient, as 
abiding, and as enduring as hers. But the time and 
train both have been passing on. It is passing through 
Mansdale ; it is late twilight ; he turns his eyes invol- 
untarily towards the Morton mansion. He sees no one 
that he knows, not even Will., at the depot. Halt! They 
are at Shocktown. Three men in United States uni- 
form get off on the opposite side and walk away in the 
dark unobser\-ed. They were Major Henry Kerr, Ser- 



202 WALTER GRAHAM, .STATESMAN. 

geant Pat. McKuight and First Lieutenant Walter Gra- 
ham. They walked directly to their respective homes. 
Yes, Walter Graham is at home. The joy of his 
mother, the delight of his father, the pride of his sisters, 
the idol of his brother, and one of Shocktown's heroes. 









CHAPTER XIII 



THE INTERREGNUM. 



YES, Walter Graham was at home ; but it was on 
veteran furlough. Those of the boys who had 
not re-enlisted, remained, of course, to finish their 
three years ; those already discharged for physical dis- 
ability or " knocked out," as the boys termed it, were 
of course at home ; and those who had re-enlisted for 
another three years, of whom Walter was one, were 
merely taking a thirty days' respite, which the govern- 
ment granted to all such. 

After the exuberant joy of the family had been 
spent upon him, the morning come and the breakfast 
over, he had caught his breath sufficiently to notice 
what a stout boy Joe had become, " but thank God," he 
thought, " not old enough }^et to enlist." He beheld 
with satisfaction into what lovely women his two sisters 
were developing. Mary's face and manner were .so sin- 
cere and honest, and Sue's the very personification of 
energy and determination. His father's hair, just a 
little frosted now, and a kind of drawn expression be- 
tween his brows which he had never noticed before, 
and which an oculist had told him was the prelude to 
the coming glasses. His mother had hardly aged as 
much as he had expected, but he could detect under- 
neath her look the same anxious feeling she had the 
day he bid her farewell at Sharwood. The forenoon 
was spent by the famjl^^ talking over all the events 



204 WALTER GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

of the neighborhood, all the sad incidents of the war, 
the prospects of its continuance, and the hope of peace. 
Walter strolled out to the barn with Joe before dinner, 
to see the gray colt, Frank, now grown into a large 
stalwart horse, a brilliant succession to old Dolly, that 
had died. Simon's coat looked as gloss}^ and well kept 
as ever, to which fact Joe called special attention. 
Lucy and Flora looked their same old selves, and they 
all seemed to recognize Walter, when he addressed 
them, as old familiar friends. Two young colts, which 
had arrived since Walter's departure, were specially 
introduced to him by Joe. 

After dinner, callers began to arrive, the first of 
whom was Tom Swave. To say that those two were 
glad to see each other, but feebly expresses it. They 
actually embraced with a warmth that Sue said "Makes 
the rest of us jealous." Walter did not love Tom 
Swave better than his own family, but it must be ad- 
mitted that he was a little happier now to see him than 
any other man in the communit}', for it was equall}' 
true that they two could enjoy each other's experiences 
better than even the members of their own families. 
Not even the bonds of consanguinity could understand 
or grasp those silent and unwritten experiences of hard- 
ship and humor, incident to the camp, as those who 
had actively tasted of them. 

"Well, old boy, how are 3'ou, anyhow," exclaimed 
Tom. " Why you are actually looking well ; some of 
the rest of us thought we got pretty well tanned even 
in Virginia, and I supposed you would have left your 
more southern region a full fledged mulatto." 

" Oh, no, we still give evidence of belonging to the 
Caucasian race," replied Walter, "besides you know 



THE INTKRRRGNUM. 205 

altitude has a good bit to do with climate as well as 
latitude. In fact it was not so very warm where we 
have been lately, about the region of Lookout Mountain 
and Missionary Ridge." " I guess it was pretty warm 
for a little while about there, was it not ? Let me see 
that dip they gave you at Missionary Ridge. Oh ! it 
don't disfigure you any after all, though when I look 
for it, I see distinctly that it is there. Let me see, 
they knocked you out some place else, didn't they?" 

"Oh, very slightly at Shiloh," responded Walter. 
' ' Neither of them amount to anything, but how is it 
with yourself, Tom? That is the question that con- 
cerned me most. I understood your matter was more 
serious. Step out there again. Why, you don't walk 
very lame after all. Your figure is perfectly erect, and 
I believe a little better looking than ever." 

" Oh, yes," said Tom, " I am only decently shelved, 
so that I shall miss the balance of the fun ;" and then 
smiling significantl}^, continued, "or happil}^ relieved 
from it. You understand the feeling Walt. ?" Then 
changing his smile, he said, " but of course I can't feel 
too thankful for my present situation, when I reflect 
how two young surgeons were whetting their knives 
for their experimental amputation, when an older one 
in citizen's clothes interposed, saying, 'hold on, hold 
on for a few days, I see no absolute necessity for that 
as yet.' " 

Walter smiled and said, "Well, you know you 
always were a lucky fellow, Tom ; you always could 
lie down and glance back at the more stupid ones be- 
hind, then, like the coyote of the far West, make a 
fleet bound or two and leave the rest of us in the dis- 
tance. And here, behold, it is again ; you didn't 



206 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

enlist until nearly a year after me, and now you are 
home four months ahead of me, honorably discharged, 
and with a commission one niche above me. Well, dear 
knows you have earned it all. The men who passed 
through Gettysburg, prophets are already predicting, 
have seen the most eventful battle of the century. 
Creasy must add a sixteenth to his fifteen world bat- 
tles. ' ' 

"Ah, Walt.!" rejoined Tom, " you need have no 
fears about me ultimately surpassing you. You always 
could come in wonderfully strong on the home-stretch. 
If I had 5'our powers of endurance I would give a good 
bit. Remember, boy, I'm alreadj' at my end ; yours is 
not here yet, in fact. Don't be too sure that Gettys- 
burg may hold to the end as the pivotal point in the 
contest, we have alreadj- had so many turning points 
in this conflict." 

"Very true," said Waller thoughtfully ; " that is, I 
mean your remarks about Gettysburg But still, while 
I thoroughly believe that we still have to pass through 
severer contests than perhaps even Gettysburg, I be- 
lieve now that the rebellion will ultimately be sup- 
pressed, and peace established on our own terms ; while, 
on the other hand, if Lee had been able to maintain 
his ground at Gettysburg, to have permanently trans- 
ferred the seat of war from Virginia to Pennsylvania, 
it might have produced results at least unpleasant to 
contemplate. 

" My, but you boys talk diiferently about this con- 
test than you did two years ago," said Mrs. Graham. 

"Yes, mother, we are wiser now, especially I. If 
I remember rightly, Tom did comprehend a little later 



THE INTERREGNUM. 207 

than I its magnitude, but neither of us as clearly as 
you, mother." 

"Mrs. Graham has a natural gift for seeing things 
clearly," said Tom. 

Walter smiled approvingly, Mrs Graham blushed 
modestly, and Tom continued, "Well, how are all the 
boys 3'ou left behind, anyhow, and those that came 
with you ? Henry Kerr is home, I understand ; we 
must go over and see him, Walt., and Pat. is looking 
well. I saw him this morning. It was he that sped 
the news of 3'our being home ; he was at the store this 
morning. I told father I was coming right over as 
soon as I got m}' dinner. ' ' It would be useless to fol- 
low the conversation further, except to say that Walter 
answered his questions as fast as he could and then 
plied a series of his own to Tom in return, such as, 
' ' How is your father ? " " How are all the other 
boys in the neighborhood ? ' ' "How is Mart. Bernard ? ' ' 
" How are the girls? " " What are the Bowers boys 
doing ? " "I believe neither of them enlisted at any 
time, did they?" "Mart. Bernard has not, either, I 
suppose, but then he is an only son and really I should 
say excusable." "Do you ever see Will. Morton?" 
To all of which Tom replied as fast as he could, giving 
the appropriate answers, saying, "As to Mart. Bernard, 
I think as you have said, that he is excusable under 
the circumstances, and, besides. Mart, and his father 
have both given their whole moral support and influ- 
ence to the cause ; the fact of the matter is Mart, wears 
very well as he ages. He has now an interest in the 
business, I believe. That little stiff way that he used 
to have about him was, I suppose, a natural dignity 
that he could not help." "As to the Bowers boys," 



208 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Tom continued with a smile, " I believe High, would 
have enlisted long ago, if it were not for that trouble 
with his larynx, an affection he has alwa3'S had in his 
throat, and some reports say Ben. has suddenly got a 
year or two younger than we always considered him, 
and some say that it is because he knows it would kill 
his mother. The last time I talked with High, he was 
especially indignant at these conscientious people, some 
of the Friends who live over in Hamilton Count}', and 
a few of those German Mennonites, who have settled 
in the upper part of this township. Oh, yes, you asked 
about Will. Morton ; I see him occasionally. He 
seems as nice as ever. He was out about six months, 
I think, after he came home from the three months' 
service in the commissary department. But he is at 
home now. In fact, his father needs him in his busi- 
ness. The only thing I fear for Will, sometimes is, 
that maybe he is getting a little fast. ' ' 

Walter was silent for a moment and then began in a 
meditative voice: " I am in hopes Will, may come out 
all right. I always liked him. I wish he would come 
and .see me." Then, changing his countenance with a 
smile, continued, "So High. Bowers has been burning 
with a desire to go, which his physical infirmities have 
been able to resist up to this time, has he?" 

' ' Yes, I suppose that is what might be inferred from 
the remark," replied Tom, with some expression of 
humor on his countenance. 

"That was the inference intended at least," replied 
Walter ; " and Ben. is very considerate of his mother, 
is he? Well, I suppose we must not judge." 

Tom closed his eyes for a moment, rocked rather 



THE INTERREGNUM. 209 

vigorously in his chair and simply said, "I suppose 
not." 

Mrs. Graham turned her back, searched vigorously 
for a spool of cotton in her work-basket and said noth- 
ing. Tom continued after an instant, " I feel sure as 
to Will. Morton, Walt., that he will come to see you as 
soon as he hears of your being at home ; he always 
speaks of 3'ou in the most friendly and complimentar}- 
manner. ' ' 

But, as already stated, why follow in further detail 
this conversation. I,et it be brieflly stated, Walter and 
Tom went out for a short stroll. The}' did not go in 
the direction of the village, but up through the woods 
and around b}' the head of the dam, out onto the road, 
where, whom should they meet but High. Bowers going 
to Shocktown. They stopped, of course; High, was 
profuse in his expressions of pleasure at seeing Walter; 
said he had intended to call on him, of course, as soon 
as he heard of his being home ; gave him the most 
pressing invitation to " come over and see us; spend a 
whole day with us; no one will be more pleased to see 
you than the old governor himself." For all of which 
Walter thanked him politely and said he would try and 
find time to call on them, at least before he went back, 
though his time would be considerably occupied. And 
indeed, it would be a severe judgment to pass. upon 
High. Bowers to say that there was not even a grain of 
sincerit)^ in all that he had said, especialh^ when we 
consider the absolute certainty of one thing, that he felt 
now it was rather a mark of credit, than otherwise, to 
appear as the especial friend of Walter Graham. For, 
in the course of his remarks, he had been ver}' strong 
in his patriotism, denounced Copperheads with great 



210 WALTKR GRAHAI\r, STATESMAN. 

severity and even touched upon the subject to which 
Tom had alluded — the position of those peaceable, but 
loyal people, who claimed to have conscientious scru- 
ples against war under any consideration. 

It must be said of Walter that he was not entirel}' 
passive at the vituperation meant for the first cla.ss, 
saying, "All I ask of them is that they go into the 
rebel army, where their sympathies are." As for 
High.'s denunciations of the few Quakers and Menno- 
nites in the conununity, they elicited no look or word 
of approval from either Walter or Tom. They re- 
turned to the house to find Mr. and Mrs. Williamson 
snugly ensconced in rocking chairs, waiting for Walter. 
Their greeting was warm and mutual. Walter took 
the hand of the man, at whose feet he had formed so 
many of his political opinions, with a feeling of deep 
respect, not to say veneration, while the old man, in 
return, shook Walter's hand with a feeling not far 
removed from aifection. He spoke of both him and 
Tom as " his boj'S," now prematurely grown into cap- 
tain and lieutenant. Walter said, in the same good 
humor, " Why, I am surprised Mr. Williamson, to hear 
you calling Tom and me captain and lieutenant. I pre- 
fer while I am at home to be simph' 3'our old boy Wal- 
ter. I supposed you would have been the last man to 
pay compliments to cheap titles." 

"Just so, Walter," replied Mr. Williamson, " and so 
I should be. It almost makes me sick to hear people 
calling some swell of a fellow colonel or major, because 
he happened to ride at the head of some parade one 
night, or was appointed to some ornamental position 
on a governor's staff in time of peace ; but when I 
look upon bo}-s like you two, who left their homes in 



THE INTERREGNUM. 211 

the tender years of their teens, and came home with 
scars upon their bodies and epaulettes on their shoul- 
ders, gained in the most sanguinary war of modern 
history, it almost tempts an old matter-of-fact man Hke 
me to address you by title sometimes, just for the 
humor of the thing if nothing else. In fact, you boys 
are both quite aware of the fact that your titles were 
not .so cheaply won after all. I should sa}', upon re- 
flection, that they were fairly earned." 

"Well, well, never mind about that now," said 
Walter; "I want to interrogate you on another sub- 
ject. Indeed, I was just thinking about you. You 
know we always did turn to you to get the kinks 
straightened out of us on most questions ; perhaps you 
can do it now. ' ' 

"Perhaps j'^/^ are getting a little complimentary now, 
Walter," interposed Mr. WilHamson. "No, I think 
not," replied Walter, "I have no doubt you can give me 
the very information I want. A discourse from you on 
Quakerism and Mennonitism would be highly enter- 
taining now; as I may be somewhat remotel}' connected 
with both, I would like to know what it is the}' have 
done in reference to the war that has .so incensed the 
loyal people." 

"Why? why I don't know that the)^ have done any- 
thing to incense the really loyal people ; who says thej^ 
have?" was Mr. Williamson's reply. "We met a 
young man not so very long ago, who professed to be 
intensely loyal, who was rather disposed to be severe 
on them, for what he termed their so-called peace prin- 
ciples," replied Walter. 

"Well," replied Mr. William.son, rather inquisitive 
in his manner, "was this censorious young man one 



212 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

who had given any very great evidences of his 
own loyalt}^? Had he ever enlisted, or any of his 
family? Of course, as you well know, they are two 
religious sects who believe in the principles of peace 
or non-resistance, and, of course, have conscientious 
scruples against war in any case. But I think as far 
as their sympathies and feelings are concerned in this 
contest, they are entirely with the North. In fact, it 
is doubtful whether the Quakers have not been about 
equally divided on the question of dropping, for the 
time being, their peace principles, and resuming them 
after this rebellion is suppressed. Yes, my observation 
rather leads me to think that fully the half of them 
have broken over ; a large number of their young 
people have actually enlisted in the army. You see, as 
an almost universal rule, they were anti-slavery ; in 
fact, I am not sure but that the Friends were the only 
.sect that actually bore a testimony against slaver)^ all 
the time. The Mennonites or other non-resistant Ger- 
man sects may have done so ; I think thej^ did, but 
they have been less aggressive in their views ; have 
lived rather more exclusively in settlements of their 
own. The world has known less about them, and as a 
rule, they have not favored education to the extent the 
Quakers have, but I have no doubt, are thoroughly in 
sympathy with us in this war, at least .so far as their 
convictions on the question of war will permit them. 
They settled in Pennsylvania in large numbers, imme- 
diately after Penn, or largely upon his invitation. 
Quakerism, on the other hand, you see, like Puritan- 
ism, has a di-stinct history. It was the founder of a 
great commonwealth and upon principles of universal 
equity and justice that have never been excelled to this 



THE INTERREGNUM. 218 

day. If ever you go to Philadelphia you will see the 
cardinal principles of Pennsylvania's provisional gov- 
ernment hanging on the walls of old Independence 
Hall, almost side by side with the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence." 

" Do I understand you, Mr. Williamson, that Quaker- 
ism has done more for this country than Puritanism ? '' 
asked Walter. 

"Oh, it would be useless, perhaps, to draw a com- 
parison between the two," replied Mr. Williamson, 
"but since you ask the question, I might freely say, 
yes, especially, as you well know, so far as consistency 
is concerned, the Quakers, I think, can truly claim that 
they never returned persecution for persecution, in 
which respect you know Puritanism has a bad record. 
Puritanism has been wonderfully energetic, enduring 
and inventive, but it has also sounded its own trumpet 
louder than almost any other formative element in 
America. I think it will be found that the substance 
of real religious liberty in this country w^as in the early 
days found only in the provinces of William Penn and 
Roger Williams ; in fact, the present literary aristocracy 
of Boston are rather disposed to admit that Philadel- 
phia is, perhaps, the second best place in America to 
live in. But as I have already said, it is hardly worth 
while to di.scuss these questions by comparison. In 
fact there have been very few men in history, and still 
fewer religious sects, that have been great enough 
to withstand the temptation of persecuting persecutors 
when opportunity afforded." 

"There is one who never did it," exclaimed Jacob 
Graham, pointing with pride to the faded picture of 
William the Silent on the wall. 



214 WALTER GARHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

"Yes, yes," replied Mr. Williamson, "William the 
Silent is one of the really noble characters in history, 
but unless all signs fail, there is another man," point- 
ing to a cheap wood-cut of Lincoln, hanging immedi- 
diately below it, " who will fill the same kind of space in 
history. Of course he is not dead yet and may make 
some fatal error before all is over, but the indications 
now are all the other way ; that the chief attribute of 
his character is magnanimity, forgiveness : indeed, I 
sometimes fear that his natural kindness of heart may 
be in the way of a proper reconstruction of the States." 

" But Abraham Lincoln exhibited firmness in a very 
marked degree through his course, when considered as 
a whole," replied Walter. 

"Certainly he has," rejoined Mr. Williamson, "and 
he enjoys to-day, what he hardly did even twelve 
months ago, the entire confidence of his part}', most 
especially as to his honesty. But still I think he might 
be .said to be rather slow in reaching his conclusions, 
for a leader, in times of storm. Not, I think, from lack 
of vision, but rather from over-cautiousness, which, it 
is true, may be safe leadership in the end. It is easy 
for us to critici.se, who are not in his position ; no doubt 
he feels just as he has said, that he is only the in.stru- 
ment in God's hands." 

"And while he sticks close to that feeling he will not 
make any very great mistake," said Mrs. Graham. 

"And Mrs. Graham makes the last and best speech 
on this subject," .said Tom Swave. 

" I will concede that too," said Mr. Williamson; " in 
fact, it is a little in con.sonance with the Quaker idea of 
obeying the light." 

' 'There is another thought that came to my mind, "said 



THIC IXTKKKKC.NU.M. 215 

Mrs. Graham," while you were discussing this ques- 
tion of Quakerism and peace. There is cousin Hannah 
Bolton, who is still a full-fledged member of the societ\^ 
in good standing, and both her boys, Cyrus and Wen- 
dell, both enlisted, and both are at home now, I think, 
on veteran furlough, and next Wednesday a week is 
quarterly meeting day over at old Pine Grove. It is a 
pretty good drive, but why cannot 3-011 and I go over, 
Walter, and see more of these people, and j-ou, in fact, 
may become better acquainted with your remote rela- 
tions. You boys scarcely know each other, and cousin 
Hannah and I were quite intimate when we were 
young. ' ' 

" I am in for it," replied Walter. 

"A good suggestion," exclaimed Jacob Graham. " I 
think, though, mother, j'ou are mistaken about both 
the boys being home. I have understood Cyrus did 
not re-enlist " 

" No matter about that," rejoined Walter. " Mother, 
you and I will go over anyhow. 

" I could tell you a story about those peace people," 
said Tom, " that you will scarcely believe; and to tell the 
story briefl}', it is simply this : There was an old Dutch 
farmer lived in that rich Cumberland Valley, in Penn- 
sylvania, last summer, when both armies were travers- 
ing it, who was out in the field working with his team 
when the rebels came along. They went over to him, 
and were going to take his team and cattle ; he plead 
with them not to do it, saying that he was a man of 
peace, that he disturbed nobody, and that he was 
opposed to all war. The ofiicer of the squad said to him. 
'Are you one of those fellows %vho pretend to sympa- 
thize with us, and hope to get off on those grounds ? 



216 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

If you do, come along with us ; don't be ashamed to 
go where your sympathies are.' The old Dutchman 
still expostulated, and said, ' No, I do not sympathize 
with you ; my sympathy is with the Union, and I am 
down on slavery ; but our people never go to war.' 
Well, sir, do you know, they finally went away and 
left him, the officer saying, ' Oh, he is a kind of harm- 
less d — d old fool ; let us go on.' " 

" That circumstance can be verified, can it? " a.sked 
Mr. Williamson. 

" Yes, sir ; I know all about it," replied Tom. "The 
rebel officer in command of the company, lay for three 
days in the same field-hospital with me at Gettysburg 
and told the stor}'^ in the presence of all of us, but in 
addition to that, I was afterwards in the same hospital 
with the nephew of the old Dutchman himself, who 
l)elo;'iged to the Pennsylvania Reserves, and was also 
wounded at Gettysburg, who said he could verify the 
whole thing, saying that if ' you and I were both able 
to walk I could take you right to the man's place in 
twelve hours.' " 

"Well, I do say," replied Mr. Williamson, "this is 
one of those curious incidents always occurring, in fact, 
stranger than fiction and, besides, these non-resistant 
people can well find a great moral in it. You see, while 
the nephew was trying to defend his native .soil with the 
bayonet he was injured in the attempt, while the old 
man had protected his team with moral suasion. So 
this fact may actually be used by some future author 
in a romance, may it ? " 

" Yes, sir; if he has any misgivings about the truth 
of the whole story let him come to me and I will dispel 
them," replied Tom. 



THE INTERREGNUM. 217 

I would like to go on and tell you more of this con- 
versation, but time will not permit. How Mr. and 
Mrs. Williamson started home, resisting all invitations 
to stay for supper, how Tom did stay for supper and 
never got away from the house until ten o'clock, play- 
ing checkers with the girls in a manner which satisfied 
Walter that he had been doing this before. How 
changed, he thought, his mother's manner was toward 
Tom now ; how he failed to discern, that while she 
treated him in the most deferential manner and with 
the highest respect for what he had suffered, for what 
he had done, for what she knew he was capable of do- 
ing, and perhaps, more than all, from a desire to atone 
for any harsh, judgment she had passed upon him, she 
still trembled a little inwardly when she unconsciously 
thought of what consequences might follow from those 
mutual glances, which would be exchanged between 
him and her daughters across that board, impressed as 
she still was, that with all his powers and all his gen- 
erosity he had a weakness in his nature, an indiffer- 
ence to success and a love of ease which might always 
defeat his possibilities, if not work his ruin. Of course 
Walter was too blind to see anything of that. Even 
Jacob Graham, observing man as he was, had thought 
nothing about so trivial a matter as that. It was left only 
for Mrs. Graham to have any secret misgivings about 
such foolish matters. It might be interesting, if ad- 
missible, perhaps, to tell all about how Mart. Bernard 
came in during the evening and invited Walter to come 
over to their house whenever he felt like it, that it was 
at his disposal and that they hoped to have him wath 
them as much as possible during his stay ; hsw Walter 
felt that the invitation was sincere and was glad to ac- 



218 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

cept it ; how he devoted the early part of the next day 
to calling on poor old Mrs. Boyle, explaining poor 
Bill's sudden and painless death, expressing his belief 
that Jake would live to get home all right. How he 
went through the same process at Long's, explaining 
to them that they had done the best they could for poor 
Bob, had marked the spot by a niche in a tree and that 
he believed he could find it ; how he told Wils. that he 
was not called upon to enlist, considering his age ; 
their family had done enough ; and that Bob was in 
excellent health and spirits when he left. The same 
message he delivered at Matson's about Jack. With 
the Miller family he lingered a little longer, staying for 
dinner. Beckie said, ' ' I just thought you would be over 
to-day. Sue told me yesterday that 3'ou were at home 
and I knew that you would be over soon to tell us about 
Dave." He told them all about Dave, that he had 
been detailed recently in the engineer corps, that he 
had no doubt he would live now to come home all 
right ; that he had dissuaded him from re-enlisting ; 
that he thought the family, having furnished three 
sons, all they had, to the cause, had done enough ; 
that he felt sad when the news came to them down in 
Tennessee that Joe. and George had both enlisted, 

Mrs. Miller said, "Yes, and how fortunate they 
have all been, not one of them hurt yet, and just 
look what battles they have all been in." 

Walter replied, " Yes, but this war is not over yet, 
and therefore it is well enough for Dave to come home 
while his prospect for life is reasonabl}' good, at the 
end of his term." 

He got back home by three o'clock, in time to have 
a half hours' talk with Professor Baker, who was 



THE INTERREGNUM. 219 

awaiting him, and then started with Tom Swave for 
their visit to Kerr's. 

Perhaps there need be no apolog}- for telling how 
glad they were to be at Kerr's, how they were wel- 
comed, what an enjoyable supper they had, how 
Amelia seemed quite as benignant as ever, how she 
drew Walter so gracefully aside on the lounge after 
tea, and told him so confidingly that she had a great 
secret to tell him, namely-, that she was to be married 
quietly at home to-morrow week ; that she and Mr. 
Cain had concluded to postpone it no longer, and that 
they would have the wedding now while Henry was at 
home ; that they were going to have only a few of their 
dear old friends with them on the occasion, of which 
he, as a matter of course, should be one. 

Henry came to them in due time and suggested 
to his sister that it would be nice to have Tom with 
them on the occasion also, saying, " True, he was not in 
the same company with me, but we three were all 
schoolmates together, and Tom has been in the army 
all the same, and done as gallant service as any of us." 

To which Amelia responded, ' ' The suggestion is a 
good one, I have been thinking about it myself. I 
guess you would be pleased to have it that way, would 
you not, Walter? " 

To which Walter replied that he would be quite 
pleased if it could be so. He congratulated Amelia 
on her choice, and wished her a great deal of happi- 
ness as best he could, and made arrangements with 
Henry to go the next day to Sharwood to see Miss 
Lesher. That duty they both felt could not be post- 
poned a day later than necessary. In the morning he 
and Henrj^ boarded the train at Shocktown for Shar- 



220 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

wood. They found Miss Lesher living comfortably in 
a respectable portion of the city, in the same house in 
which they had left her, the day the old Seventy-fifth 
bade farewell to vSharwood. 

She received them both with the avidity of a lover, 
springing at Henny' with a "Well, I do say, cousin 
Henry Kerr, is this you ? ' ' and giving him a kiss at 
the same time, then exclaiming, "And cousin Walter, 
too," repeating the same liberty with him before 
Walter fully realized what had taken place. He col- 
lected himself, however, sufficientl)- to remember their 
old contract to call each other cousins, and he replied, 
"Yes, cousin Annie, it is I. We have come a great 
way to let you know that we are alive. We are too 
sorry that you cannot greet a brother to-day as well as 
cousins. ' ' 

No sooner had this expression passed Walter's lips 
than he was half scared at the abruptness with which 
he had plunged into the delicate matter of her brother's 
death ; nor was he sure that he was entirely pleased at 
this instantaneous reminder of the relation of cousin, 
somehow he felt — not that he cared especially — but he 
would have been content to let the word become obso- 
lete between them. But Miss Lesher answered with a 
sob, and wiping from her eyes the tears which had in- 
stantly come to them : " Oh, I know full well how 
truly you answer, and I cannot convey to you how 
thankful we are to both of you that you ever succeeded 
in sending poor John's body home. I know I should 
be so thankful that he is not lying now on the polluted 
soil of the South, unmarked and unknown. When I 
think of the many others suffering in that way to-day, 
why should I complain ? I suppose this war could not 



THE INTERREGNUM. 221 

be carried on without hurting somebody. Perhaps ni}^ 
cup has been no more bitter than hundreds of others. 
The shock was very severe on father. Mother and I 
bore up ahuost better than he, besides, things have not 
been going quite right in father's business lately. A 
dishonest partner has just cheated him out of three 
thousand dollars, and besides, poor father has a weak- 
ness which has been gaining upon him lately. You 
never know^ what may happen. There is one thing I 
do know, that if disaster should come, I am able to 
teach school ; even one of the grammar schools here in 
town. I graduated at the high school and went two 
terms to a normal school since. In fact, I was ex- 
amined last week and got a very good certificate, and 
wh}^ should I be sitting here idle when everyone else is 
doing something ; but how are you both, anyhow ? 
How did you leave all the folks ? I did not mean to 
take up all the time telling you of my own affairs. 
After dinner we will take a walk out to the cemetery 
to see brother John's grave." As Walter listened to 
Miss Lesher pouring forth what he was sure must be 
every emotion of her mind within the first ten minutes 
of their arrival, and looked into her face still animated 
between sobs and tears, he w^ondered how much fuller 
her cup could be filled, without producing a fatal over- 
flow. He thought he discerned also that it would be 
better for them to go to the hotel for dinner, therefore 
among other things, he said to her, "Well now, Annie, 
as Henry and I have several errands to attend to, we 
will call after we take our dinner at the hotel, when we 
will take the walk to the cemetery." 

To this, however, she would not listen, saying, " for 
them not to take dinner with her now" would be simply 



222 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to insult her." They j-ielded, of course, returning at 
the appointed time and dined with the family. After 
dinner they took their walk to the cemetery, where 
Walter and Henry, both unconscious of what a univer- 
sal custom was yet to come, each laid a small bouquet 
upon Adjutant John Lesher's grave, "a slight token of 
respect," they said, ' ' from two survivors of the old Sev- 
enty-fifth." 

During the day Walter did not detect any abatement 
in the vivacity of Miss Lesher's manner or the vigor of 
her mind. He did notice, however, that her opinion 
of the courage of the Southern people had changed con- 
siderably, as she would make such expressions as, " Do 
3'ou think we ever can subdue them? " "Aren't they 
the most stubborn set of men you ever saw ? ' ' To 
which he would reply, "Yes, they fight with a valor 
and courage worthy of a better cause. I think, how- 
ever, we will conquer them, but I am satisfied that 
there are hard blows to be given and received yet." 

Walter arrived home in the evening to be told that 
Will. Morton had been there to see him, and that he 
should be sure to remain at home to-morrow, as he 
would be back. The morrow came. He spent the 
forenoon uninterrupted with the folks at home. In the 
afternoon both Messrs. Wagner and Flora called on 
him, both of whom had preceded him home with their 
discharges, bearing those honorable words, ' ' For physi- 
cal disabilities received in the service." A little later 
Will. Morton drove up. He seemed the same old Will., 
kind, affable, courteous to everyone, seemingl}^ not the 
least bit proud or haught}', nor in any way made the 
family think of his superior wealth. Only now and 
then Walter thought he saw a few slight traces on his 



THE INTERREGNUM. 223 

countenance of the excesses at which Tom had barely 
hinted. Will, finally took Walter out for a drive. He 
told him all about the folks at home, that his father, 
Aunt Mary, Blanch and Harry were all well. 

" How is your cousin Ida and her cousin, the j-oung 
heroine from the vSouth," asked Walter. 

" They are both well too," replied Will. "Cousin 
Ida is a remarkable girl. She has far more than ordi- 
nary intelligence, and education with it, but she is in 
no way egotistical, so perfectly modest. As for her 
little cousin from the South, she well deserves the name 
of heroine. I know of no harder case than theirs dur- 
ing the war thus far, unless it is that of the Swave 
family. Her father, as you know, after having to flee 
from the South, all his propert}- lost, went right into 
our army, was killed in battle and left his widow and 
daughter without anything. It would .seem as though 
this government or a generous public ought to see that 
they never suffer for bread. But they are striving to 
make a living out of a little store there in the borough 
and have steadily resisted all offers of assistance. 
Father, Aunt Mary, Ida, Blanch and myself have 
all tried in various ways, without wounding their 
pride, to help them, but they have steadily refused, 
saying, that while they are able to make their own 
living they prefer to do it. Sometimes I think . they 
have accepted some little assitance from Blanch, that 
none of the rest of us knew about it. She has a way 
of doing things that always draws people to her and 
gets them to unload. But I tell you, Walt., the young 
girl, Emma, is as lively as a cricket and smart as a 
whip. She has a self respect which you cannot help 
admiring. In reference to the question of being as- 



224 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

sisted she said to me, ' Oh, it is not that we would be 
too proud to ask for help if we were in real distress, 
and we appreciate your kindness very much Mr. Mor- 
ton, but while we are able to manage for ourselves we 
may as well do it.' " 

"She was a right pretty girl too, if I remember 
rightl)% was she not ? " asked Walter. 

"You are quite right, .she is," replied Will. "None 
better looking in Mansdale." 

I cannot recall all the conversations that Walter and 
Will, had during their drive ; suffice it to say that 
Will, invited Walter most cordiall}' to come and see 
them during his stay; to come often and stay long. 
"Your friend, Tom Swave, we have tried to be 
kind to since .he came home disabled. We had 
him over with us three days once. He comes 
over occasionally and spends an evening with us. 
He is a good fellow ; no wonder you and he were 
always such close friends." "Yes, he is a good 
fellow," replied Walter, "and I shall imitate his ex- 
ample of coming to see you ; you need not invite me 
twice, I assure you," 

And thus it was the first ten days of Walter's inter- 
regnum .sped away so fast, he had almost lost count of 
them ; they had been filled with such a sublime pres- 
ence of home, such a genuineness of friendship, that 
made him so happy. Yes, even the evenings that he 
and the girls and Tom Swave had been spending over 
at Bernard's, seemed to fill him with pleasant memories 
of the past, and none of the disappointments. Maggie 
always seemed really glad to see him come in, her rich 
blue eyes and graceful figure .seemed almost to 
enchant him, as of old. He felt how thoroughly he 
could forgive her for every little jilt she had ever 



THE INTERREGNUM. 225 

given him, and thought, perhaps, there was some 
truth in what Tom had told him, " that if Maggie was 
a Httle spoiled, perhaps the boys were as much to 
blame as she. ' ' 

She could not be held accountable for being good 
looking, or for the boys naturally "tumbling to her," 
as Tom expressed it. 

One evening when they were there, High. Bowers 
called. He could not but notice that she was a little 
fond of him, and he could truthfully say that the feel- 
ing that arose in his breast was not that of envy, but 
rather of sorrow. Though he dismissed the thought 
from his mind as he walked home, saying to Tom, " I 
must be up in the morning early, as mother and I are 
going twenty miles over into Hamilton County to 
attend Friends' quarterly meeting." 



^^ 



»\>»< 









CHAPTER XI V. 

PEACE SEASONED IVITH A LITTLE WAR. 

AS Walter and his mother neared the old Pine Grove 
-^~^ meeting-house, the next morning, about ten 
o'clock, they saw carriages advancing in the same 
direction, loaded with sedate looking old men, rosy- 
faced young girls and matronly looking women, clad 
like doves, in clean, plain bonnets. 

Their horses all look round and plump, though not 
what would be called stylish, which caused Mrs. 
Graham to ask Walter if "Simon was well groomed 
this morning, and in fit condition generally to be ex- 
hibited at a quarterly meeting," to which Walter re- 
plied, "he was ; that he had seen none yet for which 
he would exchange him." "But there is another 
feeling troubles me much more now mother. This is 
all wrong in me coming over here to-day with these 
clothes on, and yet I dare not change, as I am still in 
the service'of the government. Had we not better 
turn off and go to Boltons ? " 

As they-drove on for a few hundred yards, both 
seemingly engro.s.sed with the thought which had not 
occurred to either of them up to this time, the pro- 
priety of appearing among these apostles of peace with 
the ensign of war upon his shoulders, Walter's reverie 
was broken by his mother saying, " Well, there is the 
old meeting-house, and there, I guess you will not be 
the only one after all, Walter, in military clothes," as 



PEACE SEASONED WITH WAR. 227 

she directed his attention to another man who had just 
ridden into the meeting-house yard from the opposite 
side, wearing a United States uniform. 

"I see," said Walter. "Well at all events, I guess 
it is too late now to retreat. I am steeped in blood 
so far, that to return would be as tedious now as 
going on. " 

"You are steeped in peace, so far, it should be 
in this case," replied his mother. 

"Give it up, mother," exclaimed Walter. "You 
scored the best point. At all events, we will not re- 
treat now. We will see it to the end, let it be what it 
may," by which time they were actually driving into 
the yard. Walter stopped about the middle of a long 
porch which ran the long way of the building, at 
which place most of the carriages halted. The build- 
ing was a large, antiquated looking old brick struc- 
ture, with this long porch on one side of it, from which 
there were two doors to enter not more than eight 
feet apart. After his mother had alighted and he 
turned to lead his horse away, he observed there was 
a side entrance, as the Friends termed it, at each end 
of this parallelogram-shaped building. As he looked 
around for a place to hitch Simon, he observed further 
that there were two long rows of sheds on two sides of 
the lot, filled with horses and carriages. This he had 
never seen at a church-yard before. He was informed, 
however, by a gentleman with whom he conversed 
while hitching to the fence, that this was a part of the 
Quaker religion to provide shelter for their horses in 
bad weather. But, of course, on large occasions like 
quarterly meeting days the sheds were not adeqiiate 
for the accommodation of all. 



228 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Walter was obliged to admit to himself that this was 
certainly a very sensible view of religion, and of one's 
duty as a Christian. He looked around the yard to 
survey the scene before him. He saw that it was 
situated on the top of a little knoll, commanding a 
view of rich, cultivated fields and fine farm buildings 
from three sides. To the fourth and northwest, was a 
beautiful grove of heavy oak and chestnut timber. A 
few primeval oaks still stood in the meeting-house 
yard, and one giant chestnut tree, which had with- 
stood not only the storms of a century, but the clubs 
and stones of the boys in the neighborhood, and their 
fathers before them for three generations, while not far 
from each end of the building stood two large tulip 
poplars, which Friends had planted simultaneously 
with the erection of the building. He felt already a 
power in .silent worship, which he had never under- 
stood before, He thought he could easily imagine 
how one could sit down in quiet and alone, under one 
of those old oaks on a hot summer's day, and worship 
"through nature up to nature's God." As he walked 
up through the lot he saw a carriage drive in with two 
young girls in it and a young man in uniform, bearing 
the ensign of an orderly sergeant. He began to feel 
less lonesome in his military suit, and to think per- 
haps Mr. Williamson was right in saying, "large num- 
bers of their young people have been enlisting." He 
stepped on tli^ porch, was about to follow a group of 
ladies in through the door, when one middle aged one 
touched him gently on the shoulder, saying, "Perhaps 
thee is looking for the other door. That is the men's 
side there';'' and a pa.s.sing gentleman, somewhat 



PEACE SEASONED WITH WAR. 229 

younger, said at the same time, "Just come this way 
with me." 

This was another new development to Walter. He 
had expected, of course, to go in and sit, as was his 
custom at church, on the same seat with his mother, 
and what made it seem more strange to him was, that 
it should be the custom with a people who admitted 
women to the ministry and, as a rule, believed in the co- 
education of the sexes. Once inside, however, he dis- 
covered that the seats were not numbered ; that they 
were all tenants in common, each individual holding 
his title for the time being by occupancy, save a kind 
of unwritten law to the effect that the younger mem- 
bers would observe due modesty and not unnecessarily 
crowd themselves too far forward, or assume the 
elevated seats which faced the bulk of the audience. 
Even this rule was politely ignored on quarterly meet- 
ing days, the house being crowded to overflowing. 
Walter sat down rather timidly on about six inches of 
the first seat inside of the door, alongside of some 
small boys, who "scrouged up," as they termed it, to 
make even that much spare room for him. An elderly- 
looking gentleman arose from one of the elevated seats 
facing the audience, and said in a very benignant 
voice, "There are seats forward here. If friends will 
come farther up I think all can be comfortable." Two 
gentlemen, who had entered just after Walter, pro- 
ceeded to the front, but he himself modestly remained 
in the rear, until some of the boys whispered, "There 
are seats up in the gallery." 

Walter now observing an old stairway at the end ot 
the building, which some younger men were ascend- 
ing, who had entered the side door, he arose, stepped 



230 WALTER GRAHA5. , STATESMAN. 

quietly around the rear passage and followed them up 
to the gallery. There he found the seats almost as 
nuich crowded as below, but he succeeded in getting 
one at the end of a bench which ran half way along 
the space and immediately in front of the banister, 
looking down upon the audience below. 

There he sat twenty minutes surveying the statue- 
like appearance of the throng below him. No sound 
broke the silence, except occasionally the whispers of 
a few small boys behind him, who had not as yet 
caught all the inspiration of silent worship. Walter 
liimself could hardly have answered truthfully that he 
had devoted all that time in communion with the Holy 
Spirit. But on the other hand, he could have truth- 
fully answered, that while to him the scene was new, 
and he was acting rather the part of an observer than 
a worshiper, there was no feeling of levity passing 
through his mind. He wondered what High. Bowers 
would think if he were here, and saw these quiet people 
worshiping in this unostentatious waj-. He thought 
Tom Swavc ought to be here ; he would have 
appreciated it. He compared in his mind all he had 
read or understood about Quakerism with what he 
now beheld. He thought he understood now why an 
old great-aunt of his mother's had driven all alone to 
their place, the spring the war broke out, to admonish 
his mother to be careful about her boy enlisting. He 
even cast glances down over the women's side to see 
how the young Quaker girls compared with the more 
worldly ones about Shocktown. He read clearly the 
minds of these people. He thought of their principle 
of free .seats and a free ministry, that the gospel would 
speak of itself through the proper medium and with- 
out compensation ; that their seats should be equall}' 



PEACE SEASONED WITH WAR. 231 

free of charge to any who wished to avail themselves 
of them ; but he wondered what peculiar freak of con- 
science it was which led them to think they should be 
entirely without cushions or comfort. In due time the 
spirit began to move the elders. This was a very 
beautiful sentiment, Walter thought, yet he could not 
but wonder how it was that these Friends knew the 
spirit would alwa}'S move them exactly at the stated 
times. Still he listened attentively to their gospel, the 
cardinal points of which he understood to be, ' ' Mind 
the light," or " obey the Christ within." He dis- 
covered also that they were good diplomatists ; that 
while they generally admonished their young men to 
stand firm by their peace principles, thej' acted upon a 
sound judicial maxim to " notice nothing that was not 
judicially brought before them." Thus it was, that 
while their younger members had gone to war, and 
actually sat before them in military garb, no official 
complaint had really been made, hence no necessity 
for official action. In the course of time there came a 
lull in the preaching, followed by a silence of about ten 
minutes, when an elderly looking Friend arose and said 
that "if Friends' minds were easy, perhaps they might 
close the partitions and proceed with the business of 
the meeting. "I 

Walter now saw two gentlemen arise and draw down 
a temporary partition between the men and women. 
This was another new revelation to him, but he dis- 
covered that Friends thought the women and men had 
better hold their business meetings separatel}'. He 
listened, however, with great interest to them going 
through their business meeting. Their answers to 
their queries in reference to both war and slavery; 



232 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

their principles as to the latter, ev^en precluding the 
use of merchandise produced by slave labor. One 
Friend arose and spoke somewhat earnestly about the 
paradoxical position they had been placed in, arguing, 
" The most of us indeed, who have participated in the 
affairs of civil government at all, have voted to place 
in his present position the present incumbent of the 
Presidential chair, and he is now prosecuting a war, 
which it is perfectly manifest must end in the annihila- 
tion of slaver}-, one of the things so greatly to be de- 
sired ; and yet we were to bear our testimou}' faithfully 
against war. I am not sure indeed in this perplex- 
ing situation that we should assume to sit in judgment 
on others. It would seem as though each Friend 
should be governed by his own light." 

When the meeting was over, Walter went out per- 
fectly satisfied that it was entirely safe for the young 
Quakers to go to war (that is, to this war), without be- 
ing placed in jeopardy of disownment. As he walked 
out among the folks now gathered in groups convers- 
ing, he was greeted with many a cordial "How does 
thee do ? I guess thee is a stranger here ; what is thy 
name?" To which he replied that his name was 
Graham ; that he was somewhat of a stranger here, 
that he lived in Adams Count}-, &c. He was aston- 
ished at how many times these Friends, entirely strange 
to him, replied, "Oh, yes, I know ; thee is Jacob Gra- 
ham's son ; thy mother was a Walter. Are the folks 
all well ? Are any of them with thee ?" He could re- 
call nine different invitations that these people had 
given to him to bring his mother home with them to 
dinner. 

As he declined each of these politely, saying that 



PEACE SEASONED WITH WAR. 233 

he believed they were going to Bolton's for dinner, he 
began to think seriously that if anything should hap- 
pen that Boltons were not there, he had better accept 
one of these invitations, as he noticed none of them 
were extended the second time. His anxiety was in 
due time relieved on this point, as he saw his mother 
emerge from a group of women at their end of the 
building, signal for him to come to her, and said, 
"Cousin Hannah is here, and all the family. She 
says the young folks are in the big carriage by them- 
selves ; that she and her husband are in the buggy. 
She sa3^s we are to go right home with them, of 
course. They only live about a mile and a-half from 
here, and that it is not so very far off of our road 
home. Bring the team up here, and she will let us 
know when they start. We are to follow just behind." 

Walter did as he was directed, and ten minutes later 
had his mother in the buggy with him, and was driv- 
ing home behind the Boltons to their place for dinner. 

When they arrived, they alighted in front of a sub- 
stantial looking old farm house, which stood on the 
opposite side of the lane, parallel to a large 
double-decker barn, the space between being appro- 
priately filled in with wagon sheds and other "out- 
buildings," as the farmers expressed it. He was 
heartily received b}- the elder Boltons, who turned now 
to give him and his mother a more formal introduction 
to the young folks who were just behind them in the 
carriage, being the same two young girls and orderly 
sergeant that Walter had seen drive into the church- 
yard. 

' ' Hitch the horse and come here first, ' ' said Mrs. 
Bolton to her son, as they still tarried at the yard gate. 



234 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Yes, yes, I'm coming, mother," responded the 
young sergeant, as he tied the knot and hastened to- 
ward them. 

"Now, Wendell," said Mrs. Bolton, "this is cousin 
Martha Graham of whom thee has often heard, and 
seen at least once or twice. And this is her son, 
Walter, who I suppo.se has been another bad boy who 
went to the army, and is now home like thyself, on a 
short leave of absence. ' ' 

The young man responded with a hearty grasp of 
the hand to each, saying, "Oh, yes, I remember Mrs. 
Graham (or Cousin Martha) quite well. I really don't 
suppose I would have known Walter though, 
had I met him ehsewhere. We have practically 
known nothing of each other. I trust, however, that 
we will be better acquainted hereafter." 

"Just so," responded Walter; "it is astonishing 
what an easy thing it was for mother to persuade me 
to come over here to-day." 

Walter was next presented to the two young girls, 
Hannah and Alice, who both smiled and said, "Oh. 
yes, I guess you and Wendell will soon feel well ac- 
quainted." Walter, instead of going directly to the 
hou.se, took Simon by the rein, led him towards the 
barn, helping his remote kinsman put away the 
horses. 

He seized the opportunity to fathom him, and plunge 
into that mutual friendship which was sure to follow, 
if he found there was "anything in him," as he ex- 
pressed it to himself. And here I may .say that it is 
useless to prolong the account of this visit, as Walter 
Graham was not very long in discovering that Wendell 
Phillips Bolton had ".something in him;" that he 



PEACE SEASONED WITH WAR. 235 

was a young man of far more than ordinarj^ intelli- 
gence, about eighteen months older than himself; had 
secured a liberal academic education, and had been one 
and a-half terms at a normal school when the war 
broke out ; had read considerably and digested well. 
His regiment had been sent to the far South from the 
first ; had been in skirmishes in the vicinity of Pensa- 
cola, at Warsaw and on the Edisto River ; that it had 
lost heavily in the assault upon Fort Wagner, and 
their ranks been greatly reduced in the long siege of 
Charleston and capture of Morris Island; that he had 
left his brother Cyrus behind, who was then convales- 
cing in the hospital from fever and a slight wound 
that he had received in that long and fruitless attempt 
to batter down that citadel of treason. That he him- 
self had been uninjured up to this time, and as a con- 
sequence, had veteranized, though his brother probably 
would not do so now under the circumstances. That he 
fully expected his regiment to be transferred to the 
Army of the James, on the Potomac, upon his return, 
but that like Walter himself, he had now made up his 
mind to see it to the end. 

Walter listened to all this with great interest, saying 
to him, "Of course I understand 3'our name furnishes 
the evidence of the deep convictions your parents have 
on the question of slavery ; but how do you reconcile 
all this with your supposed peace principles, or do you 
pretend to make any reconciliation about it ? Do you 
positively ignore them ?" 

"Oh, no," replied Wendell, "I don't ignore them 
entirely. It is only a question of degree. I believe in 
the power and efficacy of peace in the settlement of 
most affairs. But it just boils down in this case to the 



236 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

question, whether a government that permits these 
people to enjoy their extreme non-resistant principles 
without let or hindrance and protects them in all their 
rights is not worth maintaining, even if it has to be 
fought for. That, to mj' mind is about the size of it. 
Peace may not be the most desirable thing on earth 
after all. Peace may be merely another name for 
slavery; whenever that is the case, resistance is prefer- 
able and, I think, justifiable." 

The conversation of these two young warriors was 
here interrupted by the arrival for the second time 
of a special messenger from the house, calling them to 
dinner. The dinner being over, and two hours of 
sociability in the parlor with the whole family being 
over, Walter and his mother turned their faces once 
more toward Shocktown. Walter was thoroughly con- 
vinced that his trip had paid him ; that he had seen 
more of the inward doings and practices of a class of 
people with whom he was proud to say he was in some 
degree connected than he had ever understood before ; 
a class of people of whom he was satisfied High. 
Bowers was, unworthy ; a people who did not consider 
the sword such a terrible thing after all, provided 
liberty followed in its trail. 



I 



CHAPTER XV. 

A.XX/ErV KFSUMKS II FR REIGN. 

WALTER was even disposed to be a little hilari- 
ous when his father said to him after they had 
arrived home, " I suppose you know all about Quaker- 
ism now." 

"Yes, indeed," he replied, "just discovered that 
one of their essential principles is a good dinner." 

" Why, what did they have for dinner that was so 
remarkable?" asked Mary. 

"Well, I might saj^," briefly responded Walter, 
"they had three chickens, a half-bu.shel of mashed 
potatoes, a peck of sweet ones, and other things in 
proportion." 

"Oh, hush, Walter," said his mother. "They 
did not have a bit more than I would have had, if I 
.had been expecting company." 

"Yes, I know, mother, except you, but you are 
not like any other woman around here," replied 
Walter. 

"I expect Walt, was so himgr}-," exclaimed Sue, 
" that he looked over the table first to see if there was 
enough on it." 

" I don't suppose there was much left when he got 
through, either," said Joe. 

" Well, was not that one of the things we went 
for?" replied Walter, seeing that he had to meet satire 
with satire. 



238 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

"Well, then, you got what you went for," said his 
father, ' ' but how about the young man ? What kind 
of a person did 5'ou find him to be ?" 

"Oh, sharp as a steel trap and bright as a 
bayonet," replied Walter. "He is coming up to see 
us next Thursday, and then I am going to take him 
over with me to Will. Morton's part}'. I had full 
authority to invite him if I saw fit, and he accepted 
like a man. His Quakerism did not interfere with 
that a particle more than with his going to war." 

" You had better not take him over there with you," 
interposed Sue, "if he is such a prepossessing young 
man as you describe him. He will cut you and Tom 
Swave both out of Blanch. You know you are both 
in love with her." 

" My, but you are far-seeing. Sue," replied Walter. 
"And now without pursuing this conversation a sin- 
gle sentence further, I know I will be excused for 
turning directly to the Morton party or supper which 
Will, is giving in honor of some half-dozen veterans 
around about Mansdale, and the Shocktown boys who 
were home on furlough." 

The day. on the evening of which it was to happen, 
brought with it to Graham's according to promise, 
Wendell P. Bolton. As he and Walter strolled out into 
the 3'ard after dinner, they were admiringly watched 
through the window by a mother and her two daugh- 
ters. The two young men did not look very unlike in 
their size and general appearance. Both stood erect 
at five feet ten and a-half inches, with dark hair and 
light complexion, except the more than ordinary color 
given to them by a Southern sun. Both would have 
tipped the beam probably within five pounds of the same 



ANXIETY RESUMES HER REIGN. 239 

weight, Walter, perhaps, being a trifle the lighter of 
the two, being rather more of the spare mould. "Some 
might have said his countenance indicated just a 
trifle more energj- of the two, and, perhaps, the greater 
power of endurance, and the girls said, taking all to- 
gether he was rather the best looking. While they still 
beheld them through the window, they were joined by 
Henry Kerr and Tom Swave, the former, decidedly of 
the spare mould and rather blonde complexion, stood 
an imposing figure of dignit}- and character, which he 
was at his full six feet. Tom brought up the rear an 
inch shorter than either Walter or Wendell, broad- 
shouldered and erect, however, notwithstanding the 
measured halt in his step, and the slight tap of the. 
accompanying cane. Any person would have pro- 
nounced him good-looking, as they looked into his 
countenance which indicated high intelligence and 
great good nature. A little easy going in tempera- 
ment it might have shown hira to be, but under- 
neath it were traces of certain latent force which 
none understood, perhaps, as well as Walter himself. 
At all events, it would have required no very great 
psychologist to have seen that it was possible, for 
those two to have been friends. Any element the 
one lacked could be well supplied by the other, and 
both being possessed of brains, would have made them 
quite a formidable combination. Tom had cast off his 
military suit for reasons already explained, and be- 
came once more a plain citizen ; but he was going to 
the party at Morton's that night, all the same. 

They there arranged that Tom should take the girls 
and Beckie Miller over in the big carriage, while 
Henry, Wendell, Pat. McKnight and Walter, would go 



240 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

in another conveyance. For, as this was a party in 
honor of the veterans and soldier boys, it was under- 
stood that Pat. was to go along, a proposition to which 
Will. Morton had readily consented. And, perhaps, 
it should be said right here, that none more thoroughly 
appreciated the compliment, or was more conscious of 
his own importai.ce that night than was Pat. As 
the men were sometimes sitting around in small groups 
or airing themselves out in the porch, he was heard in- 
forming them of the services and valor of the old 
Seven tj'-fifth. . 

"Sure," he said, "what signifies a few regiments 
l}ing down South in front of Charleston or New Or- 
leans, with nothing to do but a little fighting between 
forts and on vessels. Even the army of the Potomac, 
what had it been doing ever since the war broke out 
but getting licked. They were not a l)it nearer Rich- 
mond now than they were three years ago, while the 
Army of the West had been steadily advancing." As 
he walked through the sitting-room, the library and 
parlor, and beheld for the first time in his life such 
grand furniture, while costly dres.sed ladies and ga}^ 
young girls moved trippingly about, he grew oblivious 
to all earthly cares. As he sat down to the sumptuous 
supper in the large dining-room, he was as indifferent 
to all future dangers that lay in wait for him as Tarn 
O'Shanter, though not drunk on the same kind of 
beverage ; it could truthfully be said, " Kings may be 
blessed, but Pat. was glorious o'er all the ills of life 
victorious." 

As Blanch moved about so graciously that evening, 
a.ssisting Aunt Mary so miaffectedly as hostess, pouring 
gn one occasion a glass of water for Pat., for which 



ANXIETY RESUMES HER REIGN. 241 

she received his broad "thank you, Miss Morton," 
with just a slight tinge of her early coyness, but 
courtesied so naturally and responded so kindly, " You 
are welcome, Mr. McKnight ; don't let the other boys 
underrate the services of the old Seventy-fifth," and 
then passing on, smiled her suppressed smile of humor 
at Walter. He was not sure but that he too was 
slightly intoxicated. 

He saw her glide on, stop for a few moments and 
talk with Tom Swave. in easy familiarity. He saw her 
whirl in the waltz with a 3'oung fellow from New York, 
with a flowing mustache and hair parted in the middle, 
who had succeeded in starting a report that his father 
was worth a couple of millions," and that he had an 
old aunt who was momentarily expected to die, from 
whom he was sure to inherit a half million more. He 
saw her glide like a nymph through the evolution of the 
lancers with Mr. Herr. 

Maggie Bernard dancing in the same set, he was 
sure now had never transcended her in grace or beauty. 
Then think of contrasting their two smiles. The one 
still unable to entirely conceal her contempt and self- 
consciousness, the other so conspicuous for the absence 
of both, so kind in its expression, so forgetful of 
self. As he took her by the hand to lead her out him- 
self for a plain quadrille, he felt the electric current 
pass through him which completed his intoxication. ' 
As he turned her on the corner the tips of his own 
fingers touched a heavy diamond ring on hers, the 
only jewelry she wore, except her neat gold watch and 
chain. He would have given two months of his pay 
to have known whose present it was, that of a fond 
father, or a zealous lover. He believed most likely 



242 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the former. He felt certain that it was not Tom 
Swave. It was too high in the figures for him. The 
snatches of conversation he had with her during the 
dance thrilled him with joys never felt before, es- 
pecially when she said, " It is too bad, Mr. Graham, 
or Lieutenant Graham, I should say," — 

" No, no," interposed Walter quickly, " I prefer my 
simple name. You never heard Will, call me either 
Mr. or Lieutenant Graham." 

"No," responded Blanch, with a smile, "he calls 
you Walt. , and so do your sisters. But I was going to 
say, it is too bad that I have seen so little of you since 
you have been home. I was so sorr}^ that I was away 
when you made us your first visit, and the second time 
your call was so .short, and even then a previous 
engagement seemed to cut my time still shorter." 

"You cannot be more sorry tha?i I was," said 
Walter. " I take it, however, there are a great many 
demands upon your time. I expect, to have the 
benefit of it, one must engage an hour, as one has to 
with prosperous dentists." 

" Oh, no, I am neither so busy nor formal as that 
comes to j'et," replied Blanch. " But don't 5^ou think 
that there is another thing that is too bad ; that little 
scamp of a brother of mine enlisting t The thought of 
it sets me almost frantic, and Harry is so young." 

Walter was silent for a second, and then at the next 
pause said, " Harry is not so very little any more, 
though I suppose he is young to enlist. He is not 
eighteen j'Ct, is he ? " 

" Oh, no ; won't be eighteen for two months yet," 
replied Blanch. | " As for his size, of course I never 
think of him as anything but our little brother, 



ANXIETY RESUMES HER REIGN. 243 

although he is only nineteen months j^ounger than 
myself. ' ' 

They danced on to the end of their set without 
further conversation, except that Blanch remarked to 
him once, "Walter, I think 3'our friend, Bolton, is 
very nice and quite handsome." 

" You are quite right, he is," replied Walter, " or 
I should not have assumed the responsibility of 
bringing him here, I believe furthermore that he is 
half taken in with your Cousin Ida." 

"He will have to be very nice if he makes much 
headway there," replied Blanch, smilingly. 

In another minute the dancers were called to their 
seats. Walter turned to Blanch to take her leave, 
expecting, of course, to be politely courtesied away, 
when she gave a slight motion of her head, saying, 
" Come this waj^ if 3'ou are not going to dance in the 
the next set ; I feel as though I must have some more 
time with you ; perhaps I may not see you again," as 
she led him to a sofa at one end of the room. 

Walter was quite right in his supposition that 
Blanch's time would be in demand, as they were 
barely seated when Tom Swave, who seemed to be 
master of ceremonies, came up and said. "Blanch, I 
wish to introduce you to Mr. Suavely, of Snavelyville, 
a member of my old regiment, the One Hundred and 
Seventeenth. You are not engaged for this set, are 
you?" 

" Why, I am very glad to meet you," responded 
Blanch, "but won't 3'ou please excuse me this time, 
Mr. Suavely ? I wished to talk a few minutes with 
Mr. Graham. I will dance with you the next time, if 
that will do?" 



244 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

" Certainly," replied Mr. Snavely, " and I'll consider 
myself favored at that. ' ' 

"Why, Walter," said Blanch, now addressing her- 
self to him, "I will tell you what I was going to 
say. Perhaps it is selfish, and useless besides, but I 
cannot help thinking about Harry night and day. He 
has an active, nervous temperament, and I think I 
may be allowed to say, is a generous boy; not more 
generous than Will., but more ambitious, and since he 
got his head so full of war, and enlisting, father 
concluded to let him try it for awhile, thinking perhaps 
he could get him to enlist in some garrison or into 
the commissar)' department, or something of that kind. 
But then, Harry; no, nothing of that kind for him. 
He was not going to play soldiering. Nothing would 
do but he must enlist in )'our old regiment. Then the 
next thing, of course, was to get him to go in your 
company. In that we succeeded, and so he is going 
back with you men as a recruit, as you already know. 
But what I had on my mind was, or what I know 
father half hoped for is that he will soon tire of it, and 
that perhaps he might stand some chance of 
being detailed for some clerical service, or some 
thing of that kind. At all events, I wondered if you 
would not take a little thought of him. Not that you 
can do anj'thing to screen him from any duty, or that 
I should ask you to do anything, but then I know you 
understand the feeling. I am so anxious." 

As Walter looked into those half-crossed eyes, and 
countenance so sincere, covered with the head of dark, 
brown hair, that complexion so fair, with cheeks 
flushed just a little from the exercise of dancing, and 
the excitement of her theme, he thought he had never 



anxie;ty resume;s her reign. 245 

seen human form assume such perfection. But he 
grew instantly more self-poised than he could have be- 
lieved possible, and said, " Blanch, anything that is in 
my power to do to bring Harr}- back safe to you and 
to his family shall be done, even if it costs me my 
own life. To be requested by you is to be commanded 
by a superior officer, to say nothing of the friendship I 
feel for Will, and Harry himself. Anything that can 
be honorably done. Of course, more than that I know 
you would not ask." 

Blanch, half frightened at the warmth of his reply, 
flushed a trifle and replied, " No, Walter, more than 
that I could not ask ; and more than that I would not 
have, for Harry's own sake. Much as I love him, I 
would sooner see him brought home dead than come 
home a deserter, or with any other dishonor upon him, 
and perhaps I have done wrong in saying anything 
about it. If I have, please excuse me." 

"You have done nothing wrong, and have nothing 
to ask excuse for," replied Walter; "there are many 
positions to which soldiers may be detailed, which are 
no shirking of duty, or lowering of honor upon their 
part. Harry's superior advantages may give him 
special qualifications for something of the kind. It is 
just as necessary to have clerks, commissaries, quarter- 
masters and engineer corps in the army as anything 
else. I will give this matter great thought, and speak 
to Major Kerr about it also in strict confidence." 

"Walter," she said, "anxious as I am about this 
whole aff"air, I half feel as if I were doing something 
mean in invoking special favors for Harry, but it seems 
to me that is what the whole war is, a kind of terror 
to those at home as well as those in the field." 



246 WAI.TKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"I readily understand that," replied Walter, "and 
therefore you can be guilty of no meanness in doing 
what you have." 

"Of course," said Blanch, " we were always anxious 
when Will, was away at first and afterwards in the 
commissary department, but it did not seem the reality 
then that it does now; my, I can just see the look of 
anxiety that would come on the cheeks of both poor 
Emma Reed and her mother every time there was a 
battle, and then the final result came as it did." 

"Yes, we have long since discovered that it is war 
with all its horrors, and I am afraid will be for some 
time yet," replied Walter. "There goes Maj. Kerr 
now through the door," said Blanch, softly, " he looks 
dignified and upright." 

" He is," said Walter, "the exemplification of char- 
acter and honor; he, Will., Tom and I were all school- 
mates one winter at Professor Baker's." 

"Yes, I know," replied Blanch. 

Their conversation was here interrupted by Will, 
coming up, followed by Miss Emma Reed, saying, "You 
are a great fellow, Walt., I thought 5^ou were going to 
dance this time. Here Miss Reed declined an invita- 
tion, because she was engaged with you, and you never 
came near her." 

"Well, well, I do say," exclaimed Walter, "I — I — ." 

They all laughed merrily now except Walter, who 
looked a little confused as Miss Emma cut his further 
utterances oflF by saying, " Oh, you need not apologize 
at all, We all understand thoroughly that a young 
gentleman is always excusable for becoming entirely 
absorbed when he is being entertained by Blanch. ' ' 



ANXIETY RKSUMES HER REIGN. 247 

"My, I did not know that I was so — so — ," said 
Blanch, blushing modestly. 

" Well, no ; she need not apologize either," said 
Walter interrupting her, "but then I utterly did forget 
Miss Blanch said she wanted to speak to me about — . " 

"That's just what I thought," exclaimed Miss 
Emma with a hearty laugh, again cutting him short 
with his explanation, " You had better not attempt to 
go on any" further: the farther you go, the worse you 
will get entangled." 

Will, and Emma again both laughed modestly, w^hile 
Cousin Ida turned from her position near by and said, 
"Are they getting the better of you, Mr. Graham? 
Shall I help j'ou out ? ' ' 

" I wish you would, Miss Ida," answered Walter 
more sprightly, recovering, a little from his confusion. 

" I think we will have to tell your sisters on you," 
said Miss Emma. 

"Oh, for mercy's sake, don't tell them," exclaimed 
Walter; " that would only make it worse." 

"Why, do they twit you a little at home sometimes 
about things? " said Ida. 

Walter shook his head a little, and Blanch said to 
Mary, who was passing by, " How is it Miss Mary ? Do 
5'ou tease Walter a little sometimes about his absent- 
mindedness at home ? " 

Mar}^ answered with great sincerity, "Oh, Sue 
plagues him a good bit about many things. I do not 
know that he is particularly absent-minded though." 

Again the little circle laughed, and Emma said, 
"That makes it all the worse. We naturally infer 
from that, that it takes some extraordinary event to 
make you forget yourself. ' ' 



248 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

This remark struck the nail closer to the head than 
Walter had thought of, and he actually began to fear 
that it would 5'et be blurted out that Sue had charged 
him directly with being in love with Blanch. But as 
everything is made for some purpose, he was relieved 
of that fear by "young flowing mu.stache" advancing 
to the circle at this crisis and saying, " Ha! Ha! this 
seems to be a very comfortable circle here." 

' ' We all seem to be verj^ comfortable, Mr. Shaw. 
Will 3'ou draw up a chair and join us?" said Miss 
Ida, politely. 

"Ha! thank you. Miss Ida, "said Mr. Shaw. "I 
see you have our young military friend pretty well ab- 
sorbed. Not much wonder, indeed, with such a host 
of fine young ladies around him." 

As Mr. Shaw joined the circle, stroking the two sides 
of his flowing mustache and his evenly divided hair, 
talking most of the time of himself, generally omitting 
his r's, alluding occasionally to his prospective large 
business fortunes in New York, occasionally disclosing 
his views of the party, that of course it was a generous 
act or kind condescension on the part of Mr. Morton to 
give the soldier boys this fine entertainment and grand 
feed before returning to the front, and addressing fully 
half of his conversation to Blanch. Walter wondered 
if he was not pretty well absorbed also, and he could 
not resist the thought that he would like to have had 
him in the swamps and trenches down before Vicks- 
burg for a few days. He felt sure he would not have 
been very long absorbed in that case. 

But the hour came when they left Morton's for home. 
Blanch had favored the company with a few pieces on 
the organ before they separated. Walter watched her 



ANXIETY RESUMES HER REIGN. 249 

admiringly, while he heard the voices of his two sisters 
mingled with hers as they sang, ' ' Rally round the flag, 
boys," and "All quiet along the Potomac to-night." 
At his special request they sang the song that had 
captivated him so much three years before, about ' ' The 
Stars and the dewdrops are waiting for thee." He 
told her, as he bade her good-by, that he would keep 
her advised as to Harry's welfare in the army, to which 
she replied, "I wish you would; I will take it ever 
so kindly." He thought, " what a great acquisition I 
have obtained. Her request to do something for her ; 
and consent that I may write to her." As he rode, he 
looked up through the dewdrops unto the stars, and 
wondered if in the face of all his eyes had seen that 
night, and what his judgmnt still told him, they dared 
to give him hope. He was now arriving at a man's 
estate ; would be twenty-one in seven days ; his aflfec- 
tions were not fickle now. He could pass over the 
different pictures that had rested on his soul at differ- 
ent times, as follows : for Maggie Bernard he had sor- 
row; for Amelia Kerr, now Mrs. Cain, true friendship ; 
for Emma Reed, honor ; for Ida Reed, high admiration ; 
for Annie L,esher, deep pit}-; but for Blanch Morton, 
love. Yes, it was her picture that still crossed his 
vision at Donaldson, at Shiloh, at Chaplain Hill, at 
Vicksburg, at Missionary Ridge, and in all other 
moments of peril, when all the others had vanished. 
Did the stars above give him any hope ? That was the 
onl}^ question now. Would they, " in their courses, 
fight for him," or were they against him ? 

Five mornings later he arose from his bed, a little 
later than usual, came down stairs, sat for a moment 
on the chair, reached over for his big army boots, and 



250 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

rested again, drew one of them on, and then made 
another pause. His mother came to him, touched him 
on the shoulder and said, " Do you feel depressed this 
morning, Walter ? Do j^ou feel any lingering regrets for 
re-enlisting ? And was there no way for you to have 
honorably avoided it ? " 

Walter drew on his other boot, looked up, and said, 
' ' No mother, I have not for myself the slightest regrets 
in any way for the course I have taken. Of course, I 
could honorably have avoided it, for all the other boys 
who have not re-enlisted are honorable. ' * 

" I am glad to hear you answer as you have, Walter, 
I was afraid you were a little cast down. I would not 
have had you leave this morning that way. If it is 
the rest of us that you are thinking about, we will try 
to bear up." 

"Ah, mother, you are a heroine," said Walter. 

"Walter," said his mother, "answer me one more 
question. Have you any premonitions, any forebod- 
ings whatever, of any kind, that something might hap- 
pen to you this time ? " 

" Mother, I have no premonitions about anything," 
replied Walter. "Three years ago, you know, I left 
home very wise ; to-day I simpl}^ feel that I know 
nothing, except that I am in the hands of destiny, and 
to that destiny I must simply bow." 

He walked out for a few minutes, then returned to 
breakfast with the {■axmXy. They almost ate in silence. 
One hour later he started with his father and Joe to the 
depot, his mother not accompanying him this time. 
She, with the girls, had bade her last good-by at the 
front door, pressing a kiss first upon his lips, and then 



ANXIETY RESUMES HER REIGN. 251 

upon the little scar above the brow, uttering to herself 
the same prayer that she had done before. 

They arrived at the depot to find Henry Kerr and 
Pat. already there. Tom Swave came up and bade 
them an affectionate farewell. " Walt., I feel as though 
I am not doing my full duty. I have a mind to try 
and get back to the army myself." 

"What to do?" asked Walter. 

"Why, I believe I could go as quartermaster or 
something of that kind," was the reply. 

"Are 5'ou going craz}-.'" asked Walter, looking at 
him earnestly. 

" Not that I am aware of," replied Tom. 

" Well, just abandon that idea," rejoined Walter. 
" But I will tell you what I do want you to do for me. 
Keep an e^^e on Joe." 

"What! you don't mean your Joe, do you? Why, 
he is not fifteen, is he ?" 

" Yes ; he is turned of fifteen now, and his head is 
full of all sorts of notions. You know there are bugler 
boys and others as 3-oung as he in the army. I could 
not bear to intimate my suspicions to mother, but keep 
an eye on him, won't you, please ?" 

Tom answered him sympathetically, saying that he 
would tr}^ to prevent the calamity to his mother, at 
which he had hinted. The train pulled up; the three 
men got on it. Walter stood on the rear platform of 
the rear car as it moved away, and saw once more the 
land of his childhood fade from his sight. At Mans- 
dale, Harry Morton was at the depot, dressed in his 
new uniform, waiting to join them. Blanch and Will, 
stood by his side as the train moved up, and bade him 
an affectionate farewell as it moved SLway. Walter saw 



252 WAIvTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the anxiety on Blanch's face, and watched it until it, 
too, was lost to his vision. 

The four soldiers went inside and sat down not far 
apart, Henry Kerr remarking, ' ' Once more we bid 
adieu to home and friends. And it is a doubtful ques- 
tion who is to bear the greater suffering, we or the)^ ? 
Notwithstanding, I cannot shake off a superstitious 
feeling that some one of us four will never (see them 
again." 

" I believe the greater suffering will be at home," 
replied Walter. "Even father seemed dejected this 
morning, and mother's face wore an expression that I 
never want to see there again. God knows whose 
turn is to come next. I only know the interregnum is 
over, and that anxiety has resumed her reign." 




m^ 



CHAPTER XVI. 

A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 

" Hot burns the fire 
Where wrongs expire." — Whittier. 

AS the train rolled on bearing these four men to the 
-^"^ front, Walter bought a morning paper and began 
to look over the head-lines, but he soon laid it down 
and let his mind run back as was its desire to the 
scenes of home and thoughts of Blanch. 

He looked across into Harry's face, full of hope and 
ambition, and dreams of the congratulations that 
would be showered upon him when he returned home 
an honored veteran of the war. He began to think 
seriously of what plan he could study out that might 
save him from danger and bring him home, unharmed, 
to the sister for whom he had promised to do all that 
was honorable to attain such a result. 

As Walter turned this subject over in his mind, he 
was confronted more seriously with the thought than 
he had been before, as to how little there really was 
that he could do for him. Screen a private in the 
ranks in time of battle! Ask favors for a man who had 
just gone out as a recruit ! 

It seemed to him now the most chimerical of 
thoughts ; yet, with what avidity he rushed into the 
obligation with Blanch to try to do something of the 
sort. 

Well, try, he thought to himself, is a safe platform 



254 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to stand on; we can always try, and hope is eternal; so 
he would always keep the matter in his mind, watch- 
ing for anything that was honorable, and hope that 
perhaps they would not be plunged into any very 
severe engagements too very soon. 

Thus, dismissing for the time the matter from his 
mind, he arose, walked back to the platform of the 
rear car to enjoy the scenery and think about the new 
scenes the}' were to behold on their journey. Their 
regiment, now transferred to the army of the Potomac, 
would take them somewhat off the course they had 
pursued before, enough so to permit of their going 
through Philadelphia. 

Walter began to think of the old historic scenes he 
should behold ; of how to best employ his time in the 
short interval they might have there ; to go and see 
old Independence Hall at least, as Mr. Williamson had 
suggested, would be the one thing he would do if 
nothing else. 

He arrived in Philadelphia in due time, and began 
to walk through the broad thoroughfares of that most 
beautiful and American of American cities. No ele- 
vated railroad then, as now, — all unobserved by the 
populace below, — poured its interminable flood of pas- 
sengers and traffic into the very heart of the city. 

Even the great Pennsjdvania Central was still drag- 
ging its long trains of freight and passengers across 
the Schuylkill and down Market street with horses and 
mules ; but, notwithstanding this slight annoyance, 
Walter could then stand in front of the present great 
Broad street depot and look for miles up and down that 
most beautiful thoroughfare on earth, and watch the 
great moving masses of humanity walking across the 



A LiTTLEi GivOOM AT MANSDAI^e;. 255 

large open square, which bears the name of Penn, 
while no gigantic pile of marble obstructed the view or 
destro5-ed the grandeur of the scene. That monumental 
act of folly, placed there by the cupidity of man, and 
at a cost to the community which seemed more like 
spoliation than taxation, to which tax-payers however 
are expected to give cheerful consent, for the reason 
that it is to furnish justice more imposing quarters 
from which to issue forth her grave decrees by wise 
judges, whose weight}^ words at times can not be heard 
by half the attending lawyers on account of the noise 
and clatter of commercial transactions from without. 

Of course, the dear people will make no complaint 
about this, even though their school marms go half paid 
and thousands of their children go unadmitted to the 
public schools for want of room. 

But Walter passed over this space, on to Chestnut 
street, and down her crowded sidewalks in search of 
old Independence Hall. 

As he beheld with admiration and astonishment the 
lofty edifices and magnificent fronts that raised them- 
selves on the one and the other side,-— as he walked on, 
he was a little disappointed when he was told : " Here 
is Independence Hall ! " The advances of civilization 
had overshadowed it in grandeur more than he had 
expected to see ; but he soon recovered from this 
shock and became fully impressed with the sacred 
memories that clustered around it. The city of Phila- 
delphia had not then, as it has since — with such gener- 
osity, patriotism and good taste — made it a gift to the 
whole countr}^, on account of the historic events which 
have made it memorable to the whole nation, and a 
priceless heritage to mankind. But Walter felt, even 



256 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

then, that the ground on which he trod belonged in 
part to himself; not by virtue of any particular State 
from whence he hailed, but by reason of his being an 
American citizen. 

He stepped across the corridor and read engraved on 
the walls the words : 

' ' Any government is free to the people under it 
whatever be the form, where the laws rule, and the 
people are a party to those laws ; and more than this 
is tyrann\', oligarchy and confusion. Peun's frame of 
government." 

He read them again, and said inwardly — "Yes! 
there is the sentiment ; just as Mr. Williamson told 
me I would find it, and not very different from the 
thought contained in the Declaration of Independence 
itself; that governments derive their just powers from 
the consent of the governed." But his eyes followed 
farther down the lines, only to catch those other words 
so familiar to his ear. ' ' We hold these truths to be 
self-evident : that all men are created equal ;. that they 
are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 
rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit 
of happiness. Declaration of Independence. ' ' 

It was not necessary for Walter's information to tell 
him from what these words were quoted ; it was all 
sufficient for him to reflect that he was standing now 
within the sacred walls from which they had been pro- 
mulgated. 

As his eye led on a little farther down the column, 
he read the words, "Your union ought to be consid- 
"ered as a main prop of your liberty. Washington's 
Farewell Address. ' ' 

" There is the idea," thought Walter ; " and yet the 



I 



A LITTI.E GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 257 

state that gave birth to Washington is straining her 
loins to the ver}- utmost to rend and destroy that 
union, while I, and a million more of us have gone 
forth to uphold that union, and, if necessary for its 
preservation, ' Give the last full measure of our devo- 
tion.' May the spirit of Washington look down upon 
us at this moment, and say which is right!" 

He stepped across the hall to read on its other wall 
these words : 

"The Union of the American Colonies, forged by 
Benjamin Franklin at the Congress in Albany 1754, 
was fostered by Massachusetts in 1765; developed at 
Carpenter's Hall in 1774 in this building ; effected in 
1776, and made more perfect September 17th, 1787." 

"Made more perfect," thought Walter, "in 1787. 
Yes ! it will be made still more perfect when this 
rebellion is suppressed with an annihilation of the 
institution which has been the only element that has 
ever threatened her existence ; and which has made 
our liberties a burlesque, even to the monarchies ot 
the old world." But he was anxious to see the par- 
ticular room in which the Congress sat when they 
adopted the Declaration of Independence. 

As he stepped into the room at the end of the hall, 
with large portraits of Revolutionary patriots hanging 
around it, and an iron railing running about six feet 
from the walls, behind which were sitting some old- 
fashioned, high-backed chairs, he asked the guide, 
"Where is the hall, the particular room I mean, in 
which the convention sat when they adopted the 
Declaration of Independence ? Is it upstairs ?" 

" No ! no !" said the guide, with a look of astonish- 



258 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ment and wisdom ; " why this is the room ; 3^011 are in 
it now." 

"This small room here!" replied Walter, with 
surprise, parti}' real and partly affected, to counteract 
the astonishment of his informant. 

"Yes ! this room here," again uttered the official gen- 
tleman. ' ' This is not such a very little room, when you 
look at it righdy. This railing around it makes it 
look a little .smaller than it really is ; but you measure 
it once, or step it as I have done, and you will find it 
not so very small." 

"I see," said Walter, "the room is not so very 
small in the abstract, but then, we expected a room 
from which such a large document emanated to have 
been particularly large." 

"Well, the document wasn't so very large either," 
replied the guide, a little confused. 

" Pretty clever size though," replied Walter, "when 
all the monarchies of Europe could hear its rumbling. 
Let me .see ; 'John Hancock signed his name so large 
that George III could read it across the Atlantic' 
Who was it said that? It was Wendell Phillips, was 
it not?" 

"Yes; I believe it was," replied the guide, rather 
bewildered. 

' ' And those old chairs, over j-onder, what are 
they?" continued Walter. "Are they the chairs 
the delegates actually sat upon ?" 

"Yes, sir," said the guide, with more assurance, 
"those are the actual chairs. There is the one on 
tliat little platform that John Hancock actuall}' sat in 
when he presided over the convention." 

"See," he said, stepping up to one nearby the 



A i,itti,e; gIvOom at mansdai^e. 259 

platform and raising up a piece of the leather that was 
torn in the seat, ' ' see what good leather they made in 
those days ; don't make any such leather now." 

"No, indeed! no indeed!" said Walter, stooping 
under the railing to examine it, and making a quick 
step sidewise and squatting down in the old Han- 
cock chair. 

" So this is the chair in which John Hancock actually 
sat when he signed the Declaration of Independence. 
I wonder if it will desecrate it for me to occupy it?" 

The official gentleman, now a little more discon- 
certed than ever, said, laying his hand on Walter's 
shoulder : 

" Its against the rules for visitors to come inside the 
railing ; I will have to ask you to step out ; you see, 
if I let 5^ou in I would have to let all in ; m}^ orders are 
pretty strict, you see." 

"Oh! beg your pardon; beg your pardon," said 
Walter, as he stepped down and out. "You see, I 
was so anxious to drink from the fountain of Liberty that 
I actually forgot mj-self. Let me see, where did old 
John Adams stand when he declared 'that if his coun- 
try required the poor offering of his life, the victim 
should be ready at the appointed hour of sacrifice, 
come when that hour may.' " 

The guide, now looking at Walter with some doubt 
as to whether he was entirely sane, stammered out : 

"I believe he stood right there in the middle." 

"About here, you think," said Walter. "Well, 
then, I will sanctify the soles of my feet for an instant, 
while there (pointing to the portrait on the wall), the 
shadow of wise old Ben. Franklin looks down upon my 
souldiWdi blesses it. And Jefferson's all-inspiring genius 
teaches me how to say, ' All men are created equal.' " 



2G() WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Walter now looking at the time, saw that it admon- 
ished him to cut his visit short ; he bowed himself out 
of the room, leaving the official gentleman fully con- 
vinced that " That fellow is a little off." 

He took a brief peep into the other rooms and 
a hurried walk across the open square to the rear, say- 
ing to himself, "May modern architecture never lay 
her hands upon these historic walls ; that the 
lesson taught b}^ these solemn scenes may strengthen 
one's convictions that patriotism is not after all a mere 
hollow pageant but a living reality, and that I, too, may 
be ready to make the poor offering of my life at the 
appointed hour, for my countr}- if required." 

Thus, soliloquizing, he wended his way to the old 
Washington depot, and eight hours later was landed 
safely in the capital of the nation. As he and his 
three companions alighted from the car and passed 
through the depot, out into the street, they saw the 
dome of the Capitol towering conspicuously above the 
surrounding buildings. As none of them had never 
been in Washington before, it served them as a kind 
of objective point to steer for. Accordingly, they 
waved aside the obliging cabman and hackman with 
their importunate yells, "This way for Willard's !" 
"Will you have a carriage, sir?" and walked on to 
the middle of the street and hailed the conductor of 
a street car, that was in waiting, when they were 
answered, "Yes, this car takes you to the Capitol. 
Jump on." 

Notwithstanding this invitation to "jump on," the 
men were not quite certain as to where they were to 
jump ; the top of the car being a little too high to 
make it at one boui.d and the backs of the horses 



A LITTL,!? GI.OOM AT MANSDAI.K. 261 

presumably not being meant to be jumped upon on 
this occasion, they were convinced upon a casual 
observation that all other space that could be made 
available about that car, or its equipments, would be 
reached rather by a squeezing than a jumping process; 
and by squeezing, indeed, Henry Kerr succeeded in 
getting through the sweltering crowd that occupied 
the rear platform ; and with one foot inside the door 
he managed to hold on to the door, with the remain- 
ing seven-eighths of his body on the outside. Harry 
climbed up the brake, got one leg over the railing, 
with his other foot resting on the head of a bolt, out- 
side, and his body swinging at an angle of thirty-five 
degrees, with his hands clasped on the brakes ; while 
Pat. and Walter had sought quarters on the front plat- 
form with the driver ; where three others had already 
preceded them. 

The car, finally, began to move, with great pain, 
however, to the horses, whose every muscle seemed to 
be exerted to the utmost in the effort ; slipping and 
striking fire from the stones beneath their feet, and 
falling twice upon their knees, as Harry exclaimed, 
"Hurrah! for our first trip to Washington; here is 
the place to pay your fare and get the worth of your 
money." 

Having arrived at the Capitol, they alighted for a 
short call. As Walter ascended those granite steps 
to the front, he wondered if the day ever would come 
when he would be ascending them as one of the 
nation's honored representatives. 

They were shown into the gallery of the Senate, 
where they saw the vacant seats so lately occupied by 
the heads of the rebel government, by Davis, and 



262 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Toombs, and Wigfall, and Benjamin, and Mason and 
Slidell. 

But ultra as he was in his views, Walter never 
dreamed how soon those seats, both there and in the 
House, would be reoccupied by colored men. He saw 
Vice-President Hamlin presiding over this august 
body; he had pointed out to him the illustrious radi- 
cals of the hour — Sumner, and Wade, and Wilson, and 
Trumbull and Zack Chandler ; but none of these dis- 
tinguished gentlemen made any utterance while he was 
in ; except that Sumner rose once, merely to make a 
motion on some immaterial question ; but it afforded 
him great satisfaction to see and hear even that much 
of the man whose injuries and whose eloquence had so 
touched his sympathies and his admiration eight 
years before. 

They passed over to the House of Representatives, 
to make an equally brief call there. Speaker Colfax 
was in the chair himself. He asked eagerly to be 
shown the "Old Commoner," but he was not in his 
seat. "Just stepped out to the committee room." was 
the reply. He was shown, however, other ultra lead- 
ers of the House — such as Bingham, Lovejo}' and 
Kelley. 

He made inquiry of the messenger for Brown, the 
man whose eloquence at the Fremont meeting had so 
fired his ambition eight years before, to receive the 
reply — "Don't think he is a member of the House 
now ; never heard of him." 

His spirits rose instantly from this disappointment 
by his informant continuing "There comes old Stevens 
now." 

Walter watched him with profound interest, as he 



A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 263 

limped up the aisle to his seat, with step so feeble, with 
face so pale ; but with brow like Mars, to threaten and 
command. 

As they took their leave of the Capitol, Walter 
thought, " I have at least seen the inside of the halls 
within which I had such an early ambition to sit as a 
member." But he thought of Brown and the obscurity 
into which he had fallen, and said almost aloud, 
"Alas, is the fame of a Congressman so transient! 
surely, I have looked upon men in those halls to-day 
whose names will be familiar to their countrymen 
eighty jxars hence." And they all four proceeded 
directl}' to the White House, where they were deter- 
mined to see Abraham L,incoln, if possible, in the hour 
that was left them. 

Everywhere they beheld military men and soldiers 
on guard, or hurrying hither and thither. But they 
were not the gala-day soldiers on whom Congress and 
the press had commented so much the first winter of 
the war. The most of these men, it was evident, had 
come from the serried ranks of the front, withdrawn 
for a short time for garrison duty; or, like themselves, 
were going or coming on a short furlough. 

Arrived at the White House, they were shown into 
the large reception room to be told by the door tender 
— "The President would positively not see any more 
visitors to-day unless they were after executive clem- 
ency, as it was now after five o'clock." 

As they were unable to say they were there to ask 
the pardon of any one, they stood for a moment aside 
and debated what to do, and heard two very pompous 
looking gentlemen in fine clothes receive the same 
answer. 



264 WALTER GRAHA1V-, STATESMAN. 

Walter said, "What stupidity we have shown; we 
should have had a few lines from our Congressman 
before we came." 

"Yes;" replied Henry Kerr, and drawing a card 
from his jacket, wrote on it the following: "Three 
veterans, returning after their furlough to the front 
with one recruit, all anxious to simply shake you by 
the hand in this, the only half hour that is at their 
command," handed it to the door-keeper saying, 
imploringly, "Won't you please hand that to the 
President ?" 

In a few minutes the messenger returned, saying, 
"Just pass right in this way, gentlemen," leaving the 
two gentlemen in broadcloth looking rather disgusted. 

As Major Kerr, standing at his full six feet, was pre- 
sented to Abraham Lincoln, they all fully recognized 
how far abov^e the crowd of his fellow-men was the 
great President, as the major had still to look up to 
see that homel}^ face. Taking him by the hand, he 
said, " Mr. President, we beg your pardon for being so 
persistent, but we could not return to the front with- 
out, at least, seeing you." 

" I am sure I am glad to afford you that pleasure, if 
it is one," replied lyincoln, as the major pa.ssed on. 

Walter approaching next, took the offered hand, 
saying, " Mr. President, to shake your hand is to give 
us new strength." 

" I assure you we all need all the strength that can 
be had," was the simple reply. 

Pat., coming next in turn, said, as he took that hand, 
" Oh, we are still holding the fort, Mr. President. 

"A very expensive one it has proven to be," 
replied Lincoln. "But I trust we shall hold it." 



I 



A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 265 

Harrj^ brought up the rear, sajang, " Mr. President, 
I cannot say returning to the front ; I can only say 
'we are coming, Father Abraham, 300,000 more.' " 

Lincoln clasped his hand firmly and warmly, and 
replied, "My family has become so large that it 
bothers one to give a verj' great parental care to each 
individual member of it, but I will do the best I can ; 
God bless you all !" And the}^ all passed out of the 
room, reserving their comments, principall}', for the 
future, except that Henry Kerr remarked : 

"Well, we have seen the old man anyhow, and 
while you never can be safe in sa3'ing what judgment 
history will pass upon a man until he is dead, I think 
I have seen enough to understand why this man is 
called ' Honest old Abe,' and ' Father Abraham.' " 

"Very true," said Walter; "and yet what if it 
should turn out that we have just shaken hands with 
the greatest man on earth." 

"You always were an enthusiast," replied Henry ; 
"but still, your proposition is not beyond the possi- 
bility of belief; those things frequently depend so 
largely upon when a man dies." 

Two daj^s later the four men were with their regi- 
ment in the Ami)- of the Potomac, where they were 
greeted by old comrades, anxious to have the last 
whisper of home. 

Bewildering, indeed, was the whole scene now to 
Harry Morton. 

Even Walter himself, with all that he had experi- 
enced, had never seen such an exhibition of the 
nation's strength. Not that the fighting could have 
been more severe than it had been in the West, but 
the illimitable rows of burnished steel that glittered in 
12 



266 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the twilight air, as they were going in and out for dress 
parade, gave him a better comprehension of the magni- 
tude of the contests that had been going on in the 
East, if this army had been fighing anything like the 
Army of the West had been, and of that he had no 
reason to doubt, as they were all Americans. It filled 
him with a deeper realization of the magnitude and 
power of the foe that was still before them, requiring 
such an army as this to conquer it. But we are 
obliged to leave Walter for the time being in this sea 
of bayonets, and give a brief account of some of the 
happenings at Mansdale. 

It was the early May ; the night was clear and mild. 
Blanch Morton was attending the Ladies' Aid Society; 
she pulled lint with the rest of the ladies ; took a lively 
interest in the arrangements for the coming festival, 
and talked cheerftdly to the other girls on general mat- 
ters, many of whom, like herself, had a brother or 
some friend in the army. 

Mrs. A., president of the society, said, " She noticed 
by the morning papers that the Army of the Potomac 
was fighting again, or likely to be ; that it had crossed 
over the Rapidan." Mrs. B. said, "Yes, but she 
guessed it was only a light skirmish ; not a general 
engagement." 

Mrs. C. said, " O, no, this evening's paper said there 
had been pretty heavy fighting ; might be it was the 
commencement of a regular campaign." 

Mrs. D. said, " M)'! I hope the One Hundred and 
Seventeenth aren't in it. I think they have seen 
battles enough since they went out ; they are entitled 
to a little rest." 

"I quite agree with you," said Mrs. A., "as you have 



A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 267 

a brother in that regiment, and I have a son ; but here 
is Blanch, who now has a brother in the Seventy-fifth ; 
I reckon she thinks they are entitled to a rest, too. In 
fact, my husband said to-day at the dinner table 
he couldn't tell which of those two regiments had 
been used the harder since they went out." "I 
think either of them could retire with credit," said 
Mrs. B., "but my husband said this evening, that 
he did not think the Seventy-fifth would be in 
this engagement ; they had been too lately trans- 
ferred to the Army of the Potomac ; it would take a 
little while to get things organized and drill their new 
recruits, &c." 

Blanch said, " O, I think so, too." 

She walked home with Cousin Ida and Mr. Herr ; or, 
rather, Mr. Herr walked home with her and Cousin 
Ida ; they parted with Miss Emma and her mother at 
their door ; as they strolled up through the yard, they 
passed Will, going down town. 

Mr. Herr accepted their invitation to come in a few 
minutes. Aunt Mary was sitting by the light reading, 
eagerly, the evening paper that her brother had just 
laid down. Mr. Morton was walking the front porch, 
enjoying his segar, smoking it a little more vigorously 
than usual — a fact which Blanch noticed as he would 
pass the window. 

She played a few pieces on the piano, after which 
Mr. Herr took his leave. 

Ida arose and went out into the other room where 
her mother was still reading the paper intently. 

Blanch passed upstairs to her own room ; she raised 
the window and sat down by it. In a few minutes she 
heard Will.'s returning footsteps below; as he 



268 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

approached the far end of the porch, she heard her 
father say, distinct!}', " Did }-ou hear any later news?" 

Will.'s repl}^ she did not distinctly hear ; only the 
word "Seventy-fifth"; though she remained perfectly 
calm. She drew up a little closer to the window, 
rested her elbows upon it and her head between her 
hands ; she sat, she could not have told how long in 
this position ; she heard her father still walking below, 
though all conversation had ceased ; she heard Will, 
walk into the room to Aunt Mary and Ida ; she heard 
Ida going to bed ; she heard Will.'s footsteps go down 
the walk, as if going down town again ; she tried to 
follow the direction of the sound as she peered further 
into the night air. And such a night ! not a star in 
the sky had its raj's obstructed by a single cloud. 
The soft zephyrs were gently fanning her face ; the 
trees were covered by the first greenness of spring ; the 
large shrub bush below her was wafting up its first 
odors on the dew-laden air ; the deep, trilling voice of 
the first bullfrog in the distant pond broke the silence 
with rh\'thmic tones, as he repeated his demand for 
' ' More-rum , More- rum . ' ' 

There, in that position, as she drank from the great 
fountain of Nature, and listened to the croaking of the 
frog, she sent up a silent and fervent prayer for Harry. 
And surely, while she prayed, there was no Elijah 
mocking, for she pra3'ed to the "one true God"; prayed 
from an humble and contrite heart, to the God who 
she knew was the Author of her being and the Protec- 
tor of her soul ; to the God who had made the stars 
and started them in their orbits ; to the God who had 
scented the shrubs, and put the sounds in the throat of 
the frog ; to the God whose attributes were love, and 



A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALK. 269 

whose mercy was boundless ; to the God whose wis- 
dom was infinite and whose judgments were just ; to 
the God who would some day reveal to her why it 
was, that as she prayed, Harry was lying dead on the 
field of the Wilderness, with a musket ball lodged in 
his brain, with his h^zU uppermost in a deep ravine 
and the woods on fire all around him. 

As she ceased praying at intervals and invoked her 
reason to give her comfort, she felt some room for 
hope. In the severest battles it was only the small 
number who were killed outright, she reasoned, 
and, surely, Walter would be able to do something 
for him. She remembered his ardent promises. She 
believed he was a true character ; " But, I know what 
made him promise me so enthusiastically," she 
thought, " and it half frightens me." Could she 
accept his favors and refuse to reciprocate to the 
thought that was in his mind ? That was the question 
that engaged her own thoughts a little, even now. 
It would be perfectly proper to pray for him at least, 
as it was proper to pray for all men at the front 
to-night. 

Yes ; pray on for him, Blanch , he may never need 
your prayers more than he does to night ; for while 
you pray he is on his road to Andersonville a prisoner 
of war. 

She la}^ back upon the bed and fell asleep ; she 
awoke feeling a little cold saying, "Mercy! how 
long have I been sleeping ?" 

She looked at her watch ; it was midnigt ; she 
undressed and got into bed; she heard footsteps ascend- 
ing the stairs ; she was not frightened ; she recognized 



270 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

them as her father's. Again she thought, "Mercy! 
hasn't father retired yet?"' 

She resisted her impulse to speak to him ; but she 
lay awake for another hour before she could go to 
sleep. When morning came she was sleeping heavily. 
Her father was up early and stirring around. Nine 
o'clock brought the morning paper ; it blazed with 
large head-lines, giving an account of the great battle 
of the Wilderness. It gave the particular corps and 
divisions that were engaged. It was the foreclosure of 
hope to the Morton family that the Sev^enty-fifth 
would escape. 

The evening paper brought the first hurried and fre- 
quently inaccurate list of the killed and wounded. In 
the first list it had Henry Morton, of Co. G, Sevent}-- 
fifth regiment. 

Edward Morton did not go to bed that night ; he 
walked the porch and smoked incessantly ; rested at 
times on the large rocking chair and on the lounge. 
The morning paper contained a revised list of the 
killed and wounded ; among the killed it still had 
Henry Morton ; among those believed to be taken 
prisoners was Lieutenant Graham. This was the 
burial of hope for the Morton family. Nay, one faint 
ray left after dinner. These things often turn out in 
some unexpected way. 

"Maybe he is not dead after all," said Will., "or 
possibly we could at least find his body and bring it 
home. What do you think, father, had we better 
make the effort ?" 

"I think so," replied Mr. Morton, "do anything 
that is possible." 

" I will help you to get started at once," said Will. 



A IvlTTLE GLOOM AT MANSDAI^E. 271 

"Is there anyone you would like to accompany 
you? I will attend to business while you are away." 

" Oh, no. You will have to go, Will. I am pros- 
trated," replied Mr. Morton. 

Blanch saw how thoroughly her father was pros- 
trated, and that Aunt Mary could not have been more 
deeply affected had it been her own son. 

Ten days passed on. Will, returned with Tom 
Swave who had been with him. He reported the 
result of his trip about as follows : 

"Take a pin, stick it down in a mud puddle ; draw 
it out and then hunt for the hole it has left ; that is 
about how much chance we had, or ever will have, of 
recovering Harry's body." 

Mr. Morton replied, "That I supposed was about 
the size of it from the start, and yet we might have 
censured ourselves if we had not made the effort." 
He then got up, walked out in the yard, sat down on 
an old rustic seat under the maple tree, near the end 
of the porch and began smoking his segar. In a few 
minutes Blanch followed him to the spot. She sat 
down by him, took his hand in hers and said, "Father, 
this is a very deep affliction, but I suppose all there is 
left for us to do is to reconcile ourselves to it, just 
as hundreds of others all over the country less fortu- 
nate than ourselves have to bear it. Why this has 
been ordered as it has, we cannot understand, and yet 
I suppose it is our duty not to question." 

"Ah, Blanch, Blanch," said Mr. Morton, impres- 
sing a kiss upon her forehead, "you talk like a phil- 
osopher and a true Christian. Would to God that was 
all there was of it ; that dearly as I loved Harry, 
fondly as I dreamed of his future, for which alone I 



272 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

consented to let him go into the army, and extended as 
were the opportunities I intended to give him, I could 
feel that it was simply God's will to withdraw him for 
his own sake without seeing in it some particular retri- 
bution meant for me. Would that I could feel just as 
you have said, Blanch, that my boy has gone like 
thousands of others, simply a victim of the war ; then, 
I think, my simple duty to bear it with fortitude would 
sustain me, but there is another matter that rests 
heavily on me." 

Blanch turned her penetrating eyes up to her father's 
and looked eagerly but tenderlj^ for the interpretation 
of the words he had spoken. In an instant, she said 
softly, " Father, have you financial troubles? '-' 

"Yes, Blanch," came quicker than she expected. 
"Father," replied Blanch, "if that is worrying you 
in the midst of our great loss, let it worrj^ you no 
longer. I am strong enough, I know, to battle with 
the world, by reason of the very indulgences which 
you have showered upon me, the liberal education you 
have given me. I can teach school ; can get a very 
good position at that, or I am willing to go into a 
hospital as a nurse and help to alleviate some of the 
great suffering that is going on in the land. Indeed I 
am strong enough now for any misfortune. Will, and I 
will take care of you in your old days. Please do not 
let that distress you, Father." 

Blanch had read in books of such disasters as these 
overtaking families in affluent circumstances, and she 
thought instantly, upon the first intimation of such a 
thing, that the worst would be to provide for. Mr. 
Morton seeing the wrong impression he had left upon 
her mind, clasped her to him, gave her a kiss, and said, 



A urrhn gloom at mansdat,-e:. 27.S 

" Why, Blanch, Blanch, what a jewel you are. I am 
not in financial straits at all : I am better fixed finan- 
cially than you or my neighbors suppose. The finan- 
cial trouble that is on my mind is as to how I acquired 
some of my wealth." 

Blanch, recovering, said, " Whj', father, you have 
never done anything wrong, have you?" 

"Blanch, my daughter," replied Mr. Morton, "do 
you know that your father was a slave-holder ?" 

"Why, no, father; when?" 

" You know about our North Carolina enterprise," 
replied Mr. Morton. "It is not necessary to go into 
detail. Suffice it to say that I went into it. Of 
course, your Uncle Joseph, your mother's own brother, 
rather urged me to do it ; he wanted to befriend his 
brother-in-law ; of course, I thought I saw mone}^ in 
it. I did make, even then, some feeble protest about 
it involving the ownership of slaves ; I was told T need 
not have any compunctions of conscience about their 
business, all I had to do was to furnish the money ; it 
came out in the end just as I expected, that I was 
made joint owner in fee of everything, slaves and all, 
without even the privilege of protecting them from 
abuse ; my conscience was not easy about it, but of 
course, forty thousand dollars profits was supposed 
to make conscience be still. But, do j^ou know, since 
Harry's death, I have been haunted all the time. It 
seems like blood money on my conscience, and here is 
poor George Reed's widow and daughter beggared 
by what has helped to make me rich. Is it any won 
der that I should think the hand of justice has over- 
taken me? Ah ! Blanch, what the sin of slavery has 



274 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

cost this nation anyhow ! What are those lines ot 
Whittier's that you have set to music— 
' Hot burns the fire, 
Where wrongs expire?" ' 

"Well, but, father, you were always anti-slavery, 
were you not? Why, you voted for Fremont in 1856, 
long before many others had become Republicans, did 
you not?" said Blanch. 

"Yes," said her father, " I have been a Republican 
from the start, but a conservative one. I was an Old 
Line Whig before that, and had no place else to go 
except into the Democracy, which I had always been 
against more from education and policy than from 
principle, simply because I believed in tariff and such 
stuff as that. I had been raised indeed very conserva- 
tive in all my ideas, descended from an old Federal fam- 
ily, the aristocrats of our county, and been taught how 
to make money. Why, away back in the beginning 
of parties, you know, it was the wealthy and aristo- 
cratic portion of the country that made up the Federal 
party. The Democrat or Anti- Federal party was com- 
prised of the lowly, the humble, whose rights were 
always gtiarded by Jefferson. I deserve no credit for 
being a Republican ; current events just drifted me 
there. But later on, when the Democratic party 
became completely prostituted to slavery, bowed in 
perfect subjection to the slave oligarchy of the South, 
then, when men, whose affiliations had always been 
with it, began to leav^e it from principle, they were the 
men who were entitled to some credit — men like 
Jacob Graham, who severed his life associations and 
voted for Fremont also from the beginning. Yes, yes, 
thirty 3'ears ago even John Williamson was a Demo- 



A LITTLE GLOOM AT MANSDALE. 275 

crat. I am entitled to no more credit than these 
Democrats who have become Republicans since the 
war broke out. I am ashamed of myself when I 
reflect that even in the winter of 1861, I would still 
have patched things up for a short time with another 
compromise." 

" But, father, I thought slavery was abolished in 
this country now. I thought we had repented for that 
sin." 

"Yes, abolished, my child." said Mr. Morton, "so 
far as the war power of the government can abolish it 
in the States actually in rebellion, but do you know 
there are five entire States of this Union where it exists 
to-day, and under full protection of our government, 
and there is no way to be thoroughly rid of it except 
by constitutional amendment. Besides, our repent- 
ance has been eleventh hour repentance. It has been 
in sack cloth and ashes. Even Abraham Lincoln did 
not issue that proclamation from choice. He was 
driven to it. He is not a radical, honest as he is He 
is timid in action, conservative in his nature, like myself. 
I know when Horace Greeley came with that editorial, 
that Abraham Lincoln should issue the enmancipation 
proclamation before we went on " murdering any more 
men," I thought it was harsh. But now I see it was 
only calling things hy their right names. Yes, 
Blanch, slavery has murdered our Harry. Slavery 
has murdered George Reed, and widowed his wife and 
orphaned his child. Slavery- has taken young Gra- 
ham down to a Southern prison-pen to starve him to 
death, in all probability. No, I am a radical Republican 
now, ready to follow Ben. Wade, Sumner, Thad. 
Stevens and Horace Greeley whither they may lead." 



I 



27fi WALTliR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Father, don't 3'ou think we could do something 
for Mrs. Reed and Emma," said Blanch plaintively. 

"Yes, Blanch," replied Mr. Morton, "I am under 
the most solenui obligation to my conscience to see to 
it that they never suffer. The}" are self-respecting and 
do not wish to be made mendicants while they are able 
to work, and that is all right, but for fear that I should 
be taken off first, they are already provided for in my 
will. Come in, Blanch, and play me the ' Furnace 
Blast' on the melodeon." 

They went into the house, where the room was soon 
filled with the melod}^ of Blanch's voice, singing out 
the words : 

"We wait beneath the furnace-blast 
The pangs of transformation ; 
Not painlessly doth God recast 
And mould anew the nation. 
Hot burns the fire 
Where wrongs expire ; 
Nor spares the hand 
That from the land 
Uproots the ancient evil. 

What gives the wheat-field blades of steel ? 

What points the rebel cannon ? 
What sets the roaring rabble's heel 
On the old star-spangled pennon ? 
What breaks the oath 
Of the men o' the South ? 
What whets the knife • 
For the Union's life ? 
Hark to the answer : Slavery ! 

Then waste no blows on lesser foes 

In strife, unworthy freemen; 
God lifts to-day the veil, and shows 

The features of the demon ! " 



A little; gloom at mansdale;. 277 

When she had proceeded thus far, he stopped her, 
and said, "Repeat it." 

She sang it over again with more force than ever, 
while the whole family listened. At the conclusion, 
he sat for a few moments, then went out on the porch 
and was about lighting another segar, but he threw 
the match away, saying, "I must desist; I know I 
have been smoking too much these last ten days, ' ' and 
resumed his walk on the porch. 

As Blanch went to the door, she heard him repeating, 
' ' Hot burns the fire 
Where wrongs expire." 

He called her to him. They walked to the end of 
the porch together, where he said to her, " Blanch, to- 
morrow I am going to send ten thousand dollars to the 
Sanitary Commission, and ten thousand dollars to the 
Freedmen's Association. The other twenty thousand 
I have already given you a broad hint as to what has 
become of that. Am I doing right ? " 

"Yes, father, you are doing right," replied Blanch. 

" I am glad you think so, Blanch," said Mr. Morton, 
"the fire seems to burn less hotly alreadj^". 



6)0(5) 



CHAPTER XVII. 

SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 

" See how far the httle candle throws its beam." 

— Merchant of Vetiice. 

AS Walter Graham sat at sundown on a log at the 
- rear of the rebel army, with about forty other 
Union soldiers, guarded by a small platoon of rebel 
soldiers, he began to question seriously, almost regret- 
fully, the wisdom of the act which had caused him to 
be in his present situation. Now that cooling time 
had elapsed, he began to suspect what others could see 
clearly, the utter madness of his attempt. He had 
rushed forward to secure Harry's body from as gener- 
ous an impulse as ever filled human breast, not a single 
thought of self, only the thought of Blanch. 

He almost regretted having been weak enough to 
yield at the instant to that inborn instinct to cling to 
life. "Oh!" he thought, "if after we had been tem- 
porarily repulsed, and I had succeeded in getting 
Harry's body back as far as the ravine, when that 
second volley passed just over my head, and below the 
feet of the other men, if instead of throwing up my 
hands at the third fire and crying surrender, I had 
rushed headlong into it, how much better off I would 
have been at this moment in Heaven with Harr}' than 
where I am. His anguish was unspeakable, when he 
reflected upon the failure of his effort; that it had 
done Blanch no earthly good ; that he himself would 
probabl}" never look upon her face again ; that she 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 279 

would bestow most likely very little thought upon him ; 
the chances indeed that she would entirelj^ forget him, 
and go down to her grave ignorant of the love that 
was in his breast. He could see so clearly the gloom 
that would fall upon his brothers and sisters when the 
news of his fate reached home ; that it would crush his 
father and break the heart of his mother. 

It may be, there were Union soldiers who desired to 
be taken prisoners to avoid the further dangers of war ; 
it may be, there were men upholding the flag of the 
Union so mean as that. All that I will say now is, 
Walter Graham was not one of these. He had already 
heard enough of the horrors of Andersonville and 
I/ibb}'^ prisons to cause him to say, " Death, death any 
time in preference to months of that ;" so deep was the 
despair and desperation that sank down in his 
mind, that he began contemplating some means of 
escape, however hazardous. As he looked into the 
countenances of his fellow prisoners, he saw some that 
seemed stolid and indifferent. But he saw others 
whose faces showed plainly enough that they were 
conscious of their situation. One exceptionally well- 
informed man of about thirty years of age, to whom 
he had suggested that they get up and walk right past 
the guards, replied, " That is simply to be shot down 
in cold blood ; let us at least wait until dark." 

Night came on, and so did a double supply of sen- 
tinels. They were marched off two miles further 
south, to an open field. As he saw the avenues of 
escape closing around him, the prospect of such a 
thing growing darker and darker, he was touched on 
the shoulder by the same man, who whispered to him. 



280 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I wonder if an)^ of these fellows can be bribed ? How 
much money have you about you ?" 

Walter shook his head dissentingly, and made no 
further reply, though for one brief moment he thought 
of the fifty dollars concealed in his boot lining, while 
his friend continued, " I will cheerfully give all I have 
about me, and pledge my father for a thousand more 
if it will secure me my liberty at this moment." As 
he looked into the man's face, he saw that he was 
thoroughly in earnest. No, there was no device that 
could have been conceived, no lie that human ingenuity 
could have invented, to which he would not have 
resorted, and considered himself perfectly justifiable, 
if it would have placed him safely back in the Union 
army. He would have done anything short of promis- 
ing to enlist in the rebel army, and it must be said for 
every prisoner in that group, that not one of them, 
ignorant or intelligent, would have consented, under 
any circumstances, to do that. Outside of that, it is 
doubtful to what extent many of them would have 
gone. "Uncle Tom," with all his ignorance, and all 
his faith, may have been Christian enough to go, like 
Christ himself, to the stake for conscience sake, but I 
am compelled to write it down, though the pen may 
falter and the conscience regret, that there were among 
those prisoners, men who had been raised in Christian 
homes whose minds were enlightened with knowledge 
and endowed with intelligence, who would no more 
have hesitated that night about moral theories or 
questions of abstract right and wrong which stood in 
the way of their liberties than they would have hesi- 
tated to shoot down a wild beast that was about to tear 
them to pieces. 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 281 

Walter, after a moment's reflection, even now in the 
throes of his agony, resolved that he would resort to 
nothing less than honorable means to save himself 
from the torture that awaited him, since he had told 
Blanch in the fever heat of his love, that he would not 
go beyond that line, even to save Harry for her sake. 
He would, however, at the slightest prospect of hope 
use his limbs and muscles, the means with which God 
and nature had endowed him, to secure his liberty, the 
desire for which God had certainly not planted 
erroneously in every human breast, and he felt surely 
he was under no moral obligation to conscience, to 
country or to God, to go down to a southern prison- 
pen to be uselessly starved to death. Meanwhile he 
would encourage some faint hope that some unforeseen 
turn in the fortunes of war might come to his rescue 
during the night ; that they might possibly be recap- 
tured before morning or the next da^' ; that they 
might be paroled, exchanged, or something of the 
kind, before the}' were finally started for Anderson- 
ville. 

Morning came and he was still a prisoner. At 
seven o'clock there was passed around to the men, not 
one of whom Walter had ever seen before (though 
they were all brothers now), three hard tacks and two 
bites of meat apiece. Though he had not tasted food 
since noon of the day before, he could not say that 
he was hungry. He minced it down with a kind of 
feeling of self-preservation, as he surveyed the situation 
around him, listened to some occasional firing which 
he could still hear to the north, and nursed his hope 
that the unforeseen might soon occur, bringing to him 
bis deliverance. But twenty minutes later they were 



282 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

out on the public road, marching under heavy guard 
for Anderson ville. Then it was that he felt the full 
force of the words, ' ' Now leave hope behind. ' ' He had 
not read those words then, but his soul uttered them all 
the same. Dante can no more claim their origin than 
can Walter Graham, who felt them with all their pun- 
gency that morning. All morning, as they marched 
along, he was silent and gloomy ; more so than the 
rest of the men. And yet that vital spark which seems 
after all to be unquenchable, was still alive, though 
deeply buried. 

Whatev-er unseen angel it is that still drops down 
once in a while through all this molten mass of dark- 
ness to keep the soul alive, it would return occasionally 
to Walter and make him conscious of its presence. 
Whether it could be that it whispered to him the fact 
that Blanch had actually prayed for him, not exactly in 
the capacit}^ of a lover, as he had for her, but even as 
one who knew the thought that was in his mind when 
he expressed himself so warmly to her, and was " half 
frightened," I cannot say. I only knowjthat knowl- 
edge of even that much would have sustained him 
wonderfully on his weary journey. 

At all events, an hour's marching had settled his 
mind sufficientl}^ to remember what he had not thought 
of before, that since his captivity none of these men 
had offered him any indignity. For a moment, hope 
revived. He wondered if it could be that the reports 
of their cruel treatment of prisoners were exaggerated. 
But no, he felt that the charges were too well fortified 
to admit of doubt. And yet how could they be true. 
These men have been brave, and the brave never strike 
a fallen foe Could it be that the people of the South 



SOME OI.D ACQUAINTANCES. 283 

sanctioned any such treatment of defenceless men as 
was reported to the people of the North ? Was it pos- 
sible that General L,ee would lend his name to any- 
such course ? He could not bring himself to believe 
it, and yet he could not doubt the well authenticated 
reports that had come to his ears. It must be, he 
thought, that irresponsible subordinates had been 
transcending their powers, and that the authorities at 
Richmond had probably preferred to remain in ignor- 
ance of what they would not have openly sustained. 

Be that as it ma}^, he would strike for his liberty, if 
the remotest possibility of success should arise. 

A half hour later they halted for a short rest. The 
officer in command wore the epaulettes of a lieutenant 
colonel. As he rode back to the rear of the column to 
give some order to the guards, Walter looked up into 
his face, taking a full view of him. As he gave the 
order to march, he noticed that he raised his hand 
with a peculiar emphasis, pointing with his index 
finger, and gave his command in a clear, rasping voice. 
Both the countenance and the manner attracted his 
attention but he expressed nothing. 

At the second halt, he walked up toward the front of 
the column to catch another glimpse of that counte- 
nance, as he would turn in his saddle and look back. 
It was bronzed and weather-beaten. It was eliciting, 
however, his greatest interest, especially as he watched 
his manner of addressing his companions and giving 
his commands, but still he kept his own counsel. 

At noon, when they stopped for a longer rest, 
Walter walked up to the front, within speaking dis- 
tance of where the Colonel was sitting, and saluted him. 



284 WALTER GRAHAM, .STATESMAN. 

saN'ing, " Colonel, can I have the pleasure of speaking 
with 3-011 a few minutes?" 

" You can speak to me right now and here, if you 
wish," was the reply. 

" I would like to have, if you please. Colonel, the 
privilege of speaking with you for a few minutes 
private!}-," replied Walter. 

" I have no special privileges to grant to anyone," 
replied the Colonel. " What is it that you wish to 
say ? You can proceed right here." 

" I merely wanted to say," said Walter, with great 
composure. " that I think I have had the pleasure of 
meeting you before. I have no special privileges to ask, 
in violation of your very just rule to serve all prisoners 
alike. I mereh- thought it would be pleasant for old 
acquaintances, which I am now satisfied you and I are, 
to talk over things by ourselves." 

The Colonel peered into his countenance for a full 
minute, then said to the guard, " Have j-ou exam- 
ined this man thoroughl}- ? Are you sure he is 
entirely unarmed?" 

The guard replied, "I am, Colonel." 

''Let him come up. You may retire," said the 
Colonel. 

Walter advanced, took the Colonel's extended hand, 
as he asked him the question, " Where do you think 
you ever saw me before ?" 

" In my father's house," replied Walter. 

" I see now that you are right," replied the Colonel, 
"though I don't suppose I should have recognized 
you, if you had not made yourself known. Though, 
of course, he continued, with a grim smile, " I was 
not looking for you on this occasion, as you may 



SOME OI.D ACQUAINTANCES. 285 

well suppose. I did, however, begin to recognize you 
when you spoke the second time. How are you any- 
how ? I am really glad to meet you, and have an 
opportunity to talk with you. Come this way," and 
he stepped a few paces to one side, Walter following 
him, when both sat down on the bank. 

After they had learned all about each other's 
experiences since they had first met, Walter learning 
that Clinton had been .severely wounded at Chancel- 
lorsville a year before, from w^hich he was only now 
fairly recovered, Clinton said to Walter, "Well, 
what has become of Reed, who it appears has already 
given 5^ou some account of me. ' ' 

"He enlisted in a three years' regiment, that was 
made up partly in Jefferson county, and was killed last 
fall in some small but severe engagement in Virginia. 
I think it was Kelley's Ford." 

" What has become of his wife and daughters." 

" They are keeping a little store in Mansdale." 

"Emma was a bright, intelligent young girl," 
replied Clinton. "Remember me kindly to her and 
her mother when next you see them. Some of you 
northern braves ought to marry her. You might do 
worse. ' ' 

Walter replied, "Yes, she is a very bright, enter- 
taining girl, and she will not be allowed to suffer. As 
for the marrying business, you had better come up 
North after the war is over, and do that yourself. 
Make a romance worth while." 

"Why, you woiild not expect me to marry a 
Yankee girl, would you ?" 

"Don't know what you may do yet. The only 



286 \VAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

difficulty I see about it is, I don't believe she would 
marry a rebel." 

" Pretty bitter, is she ?" asked Clinton. 

"Yes, she is," replied Walter. " She has occasion 
to be. But at the same time, I believe both she and 
her mother have rather a kindly feeling toward you." 

"Yes. the family have been handled pretty rough," 
said Clinton. " I can imagine her being pretty strong 
in her feelings, especially if it is with you as it is with 
us. The women are far more bitter than the men." 

"There may be something in that," said Walter. 

" How is your young lady friend coming on," con- 
tinued Clinton, "who thought the Southern people 
were nothing but a set of blowhorns ?' ' 

"I think I may say that she has changed her opinion 
somewhat as to that, ' ' replied Walter, ' ' .since you 
caused her to stand by the graves of a betrothed hus- 
band and a brother. I gave her your compliments that 
winter, as you requested me, for her opinion of the 
Southern people. She laughed." 

Clinton looked at Walter and said, " Poor girl, give 
her my compliments again, if ever you see her, though 
I have no doubt that she would rather have the blood 
of Southern men now than their compliments ; but, 
still I send my compliments to her as ' a foeman 
worthy of his steel,' and tell her that her friends have 
long since dispelled the idea with our people, that one 
Southerner can thrash five Yankees ' ' 

' ' When am I to tell her all this ? ' ' 

"When you get back home." 

" Yes, if I ever get back home." 

"Oh, you will live to get back all right." 

" Not unless you give me a chance right now and 
here. Colonel," said Walter. 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 287 

"What do you mean?" asked Clinton, looking at 
him half savagely. 

Walter locked him straight in the eye, and replied 
with perfect composure, "Just what I say, Colonel; I 
know as well as I know that I am here, that I am 
simply going down to my grave if I have to languish 
any length of time in prison. Some temperaments may 
stand it, but I know mine will not. Colonel Clinton, I 
address you as my friend ; I tell you, you now have 
it in your power to do me a great personal favor, which 
will put me under obligation to you for the rest of my 
life and do no injury to yourself; I mean, simply give 
me some opportunity to escape. I know I shall die if 
I go to Andersonville, and the news of such a thing 
will kill my mother, and I know you do not wish to do 
that I have told truthfully my history since you last 
saw me ; I believe that you believe me. I am no mer- 
cenary spy, pleading simply for life ; I am a square, 
open foe, and respect you as such. Shoot me down in 
battle and I will respect you, and so will my parents 
and all my friends in the North, but don't torture me 
to death in a prison. Colonel Clinton, I repeat it, you 
and I are friends, not enemies, and I believe you have 
it in your power to grant a friend a personal favor 
without doing yourself an injury, and all in conformity 
with your noble conduct to Reed. God knows that I 
shall appreciate the favor, and no man can tell how 
soon I may have an opportunity to return it. We 
never know what changes may take place in the for- 
tunes of war." 

Clinton looked at him steadily as he spoke these 
words. His eyes changed from their savage glare, 
first to astonishment and then to sympathy, and he 



288 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

replied, "Why, you seem to have a poor opinion of 
the Southern people; don't you think we will treat 
you properly as a prisoner of war ? ' ' 

" I have no doubt you would, Colonel, but I greatly 
prefer the hardships of liberty or the dangers of battle 
to prison life, and besides, mother would not know 
whether I was dead or alive. ' ' 

Clinton was silent for a moment, and then said, 
■' How old are you, young man ? " 

"I was twenty-one on the twenty-third of last 
April," replied Walter, "just two da5's after I started 
for the front from my veteran furlough." "Do you 
think you could find the way back if I was to let you 
go? " said Clinton meditativeh'. 

" Yes sir, I am sure I could; I shall not hold you 
responsible for that. Colonel, if you will only give me 
the chance." 

"Yes, but don't 3-ou understand," replied Clinton, 
"that you run great risk of being recaptured by scout- 
ing parties or shysters in the rear, who might torture 
you wonderfully, or even put )'OU to death, on any pre- 
text, as that you were a prisoner, violating your parole, a 
spy, or something of that sort ; don't you see that you 
are much safer here with us ? " 

" I will take my chances on that, Colone'," replied 
Walter, confidently, as he perceived that he was gain- 
ing his warm side ; "give me my liberty now by your 
magnanimit}^ Colonel, and I assure you I will only 
censure m^'self for consequences. I will guarantee, 
further, that I will see the Union lines or death. I 
will never ask favors of any other man holding me as 
captive. ' ' 

The Colonel seemed buried in thought fo^ a few 



I 



SOME OLD ACOUAINTANCEvS. 289 

moments, and then looking up at Walter, said. "Well, 
then go ; start." 

Walter looked at the Colonel as though he could 
scarcely believe his own ears. He began stepping 
across the road, looking over the opposite field, when 
Clinton's voice arrested him, as follows: "Hold on a 
minute; come back here." 

Walter looked at him earnestly for a moment with 
his loaded revolvers by his side, then back at the 
guards with their loaded rifles, then across the fields, 
then paused for another moment, the Colonel repeating 
in an undertone, not intending the men to hear, "Come 
here ; I am not through with 3:011 yet. Besides, I 
must have more time to refiect over this." Walter 
advanced toward him, saying, "Why, Colonel, you 
certainly were in earnest when you spoke." 

"Yes, I was, and am 3^et. I want to do something 
for you, but I must have a little time to consider. 
Give me a little time. Besides, I have something 
more to sa}' to )'OU. How are all my cousins, the 
Bernards, anyhow? I believe you said Mart, never 
enlisted." 

" No, he never did." 

"Why didn't he." 

" I suppose his father could not well spare him," 
replied Walter. 

" I suppose it did not suit your father to spare j'ou, 
either,' did it?" asked Clinton, half sarcasticall3\ 

" Of course, he could have made use of me if I had 
been at home." 

" How about Morton," continued Clinton, " Is he a 
strong Union man ? Did his son enlist ! ' ' 

"Yes; both of them." 

13 



290 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

"What ! that little young fellow? He didn't enlist, 
did he?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" Where are they both now?" 

"Well, the older one is at home now. There is part 
of Harry's brains," replied Walter, pointing to the 
stain upon his pantaloons. 

" What ! what ! explain yourself," cried Clinton. 

"I mean that he was shot through the brain ten 
minutes before you captured me, and that I tarried a 
little too long trying to drag his body back to our lines, 
when you forced me all alone to surrender in a ravine, 
and there is part of the brains that oozed out on my 
pantaloons while I was making the effort of rescuing 
his body," 

The Colonel looked steadily at him for another min- 
ute, and then a.sked, " And is that how you came to be 
captured ?" 

"It is." 

Clinton rested his head upon his hand, his elbow 
upon his knee, for a full minute, then looking up, said, 
"Well, there are some things that can be done best in 
the dark. You had better have night close at hand, at 
least, when you start. Now go back to the ranks and 
keep your mouth shut until your dying da}-, if this war 
should last that long, and don't blame me if you 
should have occasion to regret your course. 

" Colonel, if I interpret your words aright, you have 
my unutterable thanks," said Walter. " I shall obey 
your instructions implicitly," and he took him by the 
hand, bade him good- by and turned to go back to the 
ranks. 

"Hold, one word more," said Clinton. "Do you 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 291 

think Miss Reed has any special admirer up with 
you ?" 

" Not that I am aware of," was the reply. 

" Have you some opportunity of knowing ? Or are 
you in love with her yourself?" asked the Colonel, in 
all seriousness. 

"I have some opportunity of knowing whereof I 
speak," replied Walter. "As for myself, I assure you, 
I am not in love with her, though I half thought I was 
one afternoon, long ago. I honor her, however." 

' ' Well, here are two extra hard tacks out of my own 
supply," said Clinton. " Now go, and don't speak to 
me or look at me again. Good-by." 

"Good-by," said Walter, and he walked back to 
the other prisoners. 

All afternoon, as they marched along, it would have 
been difficult to describe the conflicting emotions of hope 
and apprehension that passed through Walter's mind. 
But he obe\^ed his instructions to the letter, neither 
speaking nor looking towards the Colonel. He felt cer- 
tain the Colonel had some friendly purpose in his mind, 
but what his plan of action was, he could not divine. 
About half an hour before sunset, they were marching 
b}' a heavy piece of timber to their right. They had 
just ascended a little knoll and were descending on the 
other side when a corporal of the guard addressed him, 
" Hallo ! there, you young Lieutenant, what was that 
you found back there in the road ?" 

Walter replied, "Nothing, sir." 

" None of your lying, now% nor none of your imper- 
tinence," said the corporal. 

Walter looked at him with mingled looks of con- 
jecture and doubt, replying, "I have found nothing 



292 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

and have given no impertinence that I am aware of." 

" Well, hold on a minute, I'll settle this matter," said 
the Corporal, as he walked toward the Colonel, saluted 
him, and held some conversation with him. The 
Colonel called the column to a halt, the corporal 
walked back to Walter: " Now, 3- on come with me, 
3^oung man, I will let 3-011 know what 3'ou have done." 

The Colonel, adding his word, " Lieutenant, go back 
with the Corporal, and be a little careful how 3^ou con- 
duct 3'ourself if \'ou don't want to get into trouble." 
The rest of the prisoners and even the guards looked a 
little bewildered, the former having mingled expres- 
sions of fear and wonder in their countenances, as 
Walter and the corporal walked back together, the 
latter assuming to look for something. 

After the3' had gotten over the hill, about fifty yards, 
leaving a distance of probably four hundred yards 
between them and the other men, and thoroughly out 
of each other's sight, the corporal stopped, saying, 
"Now, haven't we gone far enough ? The Colonel gave 
me my instructions ; but look here, have 3'ou an3' 
mone3'' about you ? ' ' 

Walter, though he felt moralh- certain, as the3^ 
walked back together, that the Corporal and Colonel 
understood each other, was now perfectl3' astonished at 
this question, and managed to simpl3- answer, "Not 
much.'' "None of 3-ourl3'ing, now," said the corporal. 
" You Yanks all have money about 3'ou ; out with it, 
whatever you have, or I won't let you go." "Did 
Colonel Clinton tell 3^ou to do this ? ' ' 

"None of 3-our business," exclaimed the corporal, 
"Colonel has put this business in my hands. He 
allows me to make the best deal out of it that I can. 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 293 

Come, don't be too long," cocking his musket and 
pointing it directly at Walter's breast, 

"Well, it is in my boot lining," said Walter, as he 
began to draw off his boot, saying, ' ' you won't leave me 
penniless, will you ? " 

" I will let you keep one dollar " 

"It is all in five-dollar bills," said Walter, as he 
began to hand it over; " you will certainl}^ let me keep 
one bill ?" 

" Can't afford to let you off with that much," replied 
the corporal. "Here's two dollars in Confederate 
money you can have. That will buy you two quarts 
of corn meal. Come, I say be quick or I will put this 
bullet into you as quick as I would shoot a dog." 

Walter handed over the ten five-dollar greenbacks, 
drew on his boots, and took from the corporal his two- 
dollar Confederate note. 

The corporal gave him another scrutinizing look, 
saying, "Now, are you acting square with me? Is 
that all the money you have got? ' 

" I assure you, upon the honor of a man and a sol- 
dier, that is all the money I have. Now, will you act 
with the same honor to me. I infer the Colonel has 
intrusted a very delicate matter to you now Will 
you carr}' it out without breaking faith with me?" 

"Yes. Now get over in the woods. I will give 
you fifty yards start, and then fire so as to hit a tree 
sufficiently ta your left. You take your general direc. 
tion to the northwest. That will keep you most out 
of the way of our army, and bring you within reach of 
the nigger huts at the same time ; they will feed you. 
Good -by. " 

Walter leaped over the fence with a bound, struck 



294 WAIvTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

down through the woods like a deer, heard the report 
of the musket when he was about fifty yards away, and 
the bullet whizz to his left, thought a thousand things 
in the next ten seconds as he grasped his hat in his 
hand to keep from losing it in the underbrush, 
increased his speed, if such a thing was possible ; heard 
the loud exclamations of the corporal behind him, as 
he was loading for a second fire, felt the palpitation oi 
his heart against his side as, he said, " Now\ corporal, 
be true to your trust ; now, Clinton, be my friend and 
I shall never forget you Now for freedom ; now for a 
sight of the dear old flag ; now for the hope of home 
once more ; now for Blanch ; now for the realization of 
hopes so lately buried ; now for my faithful legs, oh, 
serve me now ! Now, oh God, be on my side for a few 
brief minutes while I strike for liberty or for death." 
And now goes the second report of a rifle, but the bul- 
let whizzed safely over the top of his head, while the 
distance between them is too far for a third one to do 
much damage. And now you go back corporal, raise 
the alarm, assume your indignation with Walter's 
money in your pocket, and get your reprimand from the 
Colonel. 

Colonel, read more rigid orders to the prisoners; 
declare that no such thing shall occur again; while you, 
Walter, press on, straight on with your own strong 
legs and resolute heart, toward the " flag of the free, 
heart's hope and home." 

And he did press on through woods and over fields, 
through streams and across roads, keeping around 
mansion houses, looking eagerly for negro huts, but 
keeping his general direction northw^est, as near as he 
could determine, until he thought he must be far 



SOME OI.D ACQUAINTANCES. 295 

enough west to escape the enemy's Hnes. He could 
bear due north now. He stopped long enough to eat 
the two hard tacks the Colonel had given him and 
single out the north star. Yes, that little shining star 
should be the "fire" that should guide him on his way 
for the balance of the night. He was sure that he had 
his bearings and that his head was clear. He could 
get safely through the woods immediatel}'^ before him. 
He enters in, an hour has passed, the other side not 
reached ; 'tis after midnight. The stars are hid in 
the clouds. His brain is confused ; he is hopelessly 
lost ; he hears the baying of dogs ; he is seized with 
terror ; he clasps tighter his club, and utters the words, 
"It is life or death now, let come what will." He 
gropes a little further ; he hears a running brook ; he 
goes toward it, steps into it, puts down his hand to 
ascertain which way the current is flowing. These are 
all tributaries of the Rapidan. He reasoned that their 
natural course would be northeast. He would follow 
it for awhile ; it would at least cause the dogs to lose 
the scent, if it was he whom they were after. He 
rejoiced that that much reason was left; he waded 
along the run for what he thought at least a mile. It 
was, however, about five hundred yards. He was not 
certain, at times, which way the current was flowing. 
He got out on the bank, stood still for a moment, and 
was seized with a feeling that gave him such a fright, 
such a desolate feeling, as he had never felt before. 
*' What if I should loose my reason here in the soli- 
tude >" he thought. He had read of such things. 
He reached around with his stick and struck the 
trunk of a tree. He went to it, sat down by it, rested 
his body against it and welcomed it as a friend. 



296 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

What a glorious thing that nature solves her own 
problems ; what a fortunate thing that she cannot be 
cheated ! No excitement, however great, no danger, 
however imminent, could have kept Walter Graham 
from falling asleep as he reclined against that tree. 
Exhaustion had overtaken him. No booming of can- 
non, no explosion of mines, no baying of dogs, no 
pealirg of thunder, no falling of rain, could have roused 
him from that slumber, so thoroughly did sleep take 
him in her embrace, '"knit up his raveled sleeve of 
care," and nourish him at her great feast. When he 
awoke the sun was shining brightly in his face. He 
really felt comparatively refreshed, except that the 
pangs of hunger began to torture him, and no chance 
to obtain food. He looked around, saw some sassafras 
bushes growing in a thicket. He went to them and 
began eating the leaves and sprigs. He pulled some 
up by the roots, took them to the run, washed them 
off and commenced eating them. "If Indians have 
subsisted on roots, why not I?" he thought. He 
started on his journey, but which way was he to pro- 
ceed ? The sun was near his meridian. He was not 
sure which direction was north, he would walk out to 
the edge of the woods which he now saw in the dis- 
tance, and wait until he would sink sufficientl}^ to 
give him his bearings. When at the edge of the 
woods he saw smoke ascending from a distant hollow. 
It curled as if coming from a chimney. He would 
take his club in his hand, march straight up 1 3 it and 
demand food. "Beware of despair. Beware of the 
man driven to the last ditch," are old proverbs; but 
above all, beware of the man suffering the pangs of 
hunger. 



SOME OLD ACOUAINTANCE.S. 297 

As lie walked across the cleared field, along the side 
of a small piece of underbrush, he spied a colored man 
in United States uniform darting back. He called on 
him to stop. The man looked considerably frightened, 
stopped, peeped through the woods, and said, "Are 
you a Union soldier ? ' ' 

' ' Yes, ' ' cried Walter ; ' ' are you one ? ' ' 

' ' How did you get here ? ' ' 

" Lost from my regiment, sah, jist tryin' to get back 
widout bein' tooken by be rebs." 

' ' Do you know the wa}^ back ? ' ' 

"Yes, I's 'quainted wid dis country heah ; I's seen 
dis place befoh." 

"How did you get lost then, if you know the 
country ? ' ' 

"Didn't come dis wa}' ; got lost 'nother direction; 
come out through heah, den I knows whar I was." 

' ' Have you got anything to eat ? ' ' 

"No, sah; mighty hungry though; like to hab 
sumfin." 

" Come with me, I will get you something." 

"Hadn't we better wait till night?" replied the 
negro ; I know dat place down dah. I's kind o'feard 
to go now. When night comes I kin git some grub." 

" Come on now," said Walter. 

The colored man followed him. They went straight 
to the cabin from whence the smoke had ascended, 
knocked at the door to have it opened by an old negro 
woman, with a handkerchief tied over her head, who 
exclaimed, " Sakes alive, didn't I tell 3'ou to stay away 
till dark, den I bring you grub. Heah you back right 
in broad daylight wid a white Uinkum sodjer wid you. 



298 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Go 'way, go 'wa}^! massa catch you bofe and frash me 
in de bargain ; go 'way, go 'way! " 

"We want something to eat immediately," replied 
Walter. "We care no more for 3^our master than we 
do for a mosquito. I will strike him dead the minute 
he crosses this door to interfere with us or you either. ' ' 

" Heah, take dis quick and go," she exclaimed, 
handing them a piece of corn bread about the size ot 
her hand, with a small piece of bacon. 

Walter sat down with perfect composure, broke it 
in two, handed half of it to the negro, and ate the 
other half with the avidity of a wolf, saying, " Now, 
prepare us some more," the woman still exclaiming, 
" For sakes alive ! go, 'less you're armed and able to 
take massa, else he takes you, sartain. He carries his 
'wolvers by him all de time, now." 

"Give us some more food," said Walter, in an 
unmoved tone, " and a glass of water." ■• 

The old woman handed them out, from as mall box, 
a piece of bran bread about the size of one's fist, say- 
ing, ' ' Dat is ever>' blessed ting dere is in dis house to 
eat dis minute. Hain't got no glass ; heah's de best 
I kin do foil you," handing them a gourd full of 
water, that she had dipped from a bucket, "but, for 
sakes alive, go !" 

"Would you like to go with us?" asked Walter, 
with perfect serenity, as he took a diink out of the 
gourd, passed it on to the negro, and ate composedly 
at his half of the bread. 

"No, no; not necessary for me to go now at my 
age," cried the old woman. " De men have pretty 
much all gone ; I kin wait till its all ober; I sees now 
de Ivinkum sogers bound to win de day." 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 299 

The two Union soldiers of two distinct races finished 
their crust, arose, left their blessings with the old 
negro, and w^alked unconcernedly over the hill, and 
down a path that led out to the public road, at which 
place, as they turned b}- a little grove, the negro 
exclaimed, "Good Hebens ! dah is de old massa got 
rebel clo'es on, and dead armed at dat." 

As quick as thought Walter turned upon him, 
saying, " When he comes up, you do whatever I tell 
you, and let me do the talking." 

They met face to face at the junction of the road. 
Walter's first thought was that the man would be as 
much frightened at them as they were at him. But as 
the}' approached each other, he looked into his burly 
face, at his two revolvers, and concluded that he was 
not the kind of a fellow who scared at trifles, and he 
wisely changed his plan of action. In answer to the 
man's salutation, "Halt! where are you going?" 
Walter replied, " Hunting our way back to the Union 
arm)', sir." 

" How come 3'ou to be: here ?" 

' ' I was temporaril}^ taken prisoner, and am now try- 
ing to find m}' way back to my regiment. This man 
has got lost from his, and is doing the same thing. 
We are both regular Union soldiers." 

"Well, I believe 5'ou are both a couple of northern 
spies, been up interfering with my niggers. I wouldn't 
stop much to shoot you both." 

"I assure you, sir, we are a couple of defenceless, 
unarmed men, and I know that you are too brave a 
man to shoot us down in that condition," said Walter, 
with a steady look at the man, that seemed to make an 
impression on him. After a moment's pause, the man 



300 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

replied, "Well, I will hold you both prisoners, and 
send you back to our armj- as such anyhow, and I 
want to be sure first that neither of you is armed. I 
don't trust a Yankee on his word, mind that." 

' ' You certainl}^ have it in your power to do with us 
what you please," replied Walter. "You can satisfy 
yourself by any means that you desire, that we are 
without arms. All we do ask is, that w^e shall be 
treated with the respect due to prisoners of war. ' ' 

"We don't consider that spies and nigger soldiers 
are entitled to very much consideration at our hands, 
but I will try to examine about your arms. Now, 
Yank, j-ou drop that stick. Now, nigger, you lie 
down on the ground, face downward." 

The colored man, trembling from head to foot, did 
as he w^as told, Walter having dropped the stick and 
telling the colored man to do as he was commanded. 

The white man, then keeping a steady eye on 
Walter, and his hand on one of his revolvers, dis- 
mounted, advanced, searched him until he was thor- 
oughly convinced that he had no weapon of any kind 
about him, then stepped towards the negro for the 
same purpose. But quick as he turned his eye, Walter 
struck him an almost superhuman blow on the side of 
the head with his fist, which felled him senseless to the 
ground ; springing upon his head, he cried to the 
colored man, " Take his arms, take his arms! " 

The colored soldier, recovering from his fright, suc- 
ceeded in getting both of his revolvers from him. 
Meanwhile the white man sufiiciently recovered to let 
out some unearthly yells, and kick and struggle fero- 
ciously, but Walter held him to the ground as if in a 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 301 

vice, the colored man exclaiming, "Shall I shoot 
him ? Shall I shoot hira ? " 

"No, no, no!" shouted Walter, then choking him 
almost into silence, said, "Now stop your halloing, or 
I will shoot you." 

The man became perfectly quiet. Walter ordered 
the negro to hand him one of the revolvers ; then 
pointing it directly in the man's face, said, " Now get 
up ; but don't move a muscle or speak a word without 
my consent, or you shall die that instant." 

The man arose, stood perfectly mute, Walter still 
holding the revolver steadily before him, said to the 
colored man, "Catch that horse; bring the hitching 
strap here ; tie those hands thoroughl3^ Now bring 
him down here into the woods." 

This being done, they tied him to a sapling, asked 
him if he w^as in a comfortable position, to which he 
replied that his left wrist was hurting him. Walter 
adjusted it with his handkerchief in the operation, 
tying him thoroughly enough, however, to hold him 
for a half hour, turned away, leading the horse toward 
the road, and said to the negro, " Are you sure that 
3'ou know the roads in this countr}'^.'" 

" Yes, sah," 

" Does this one go toward the Rapidan river?" 

"Yes, sail; I know it does." 

"Jump on this horse then behind me. We shall 
not stop until we see the Rapidan or the Union army." 

They galloped along as fast as the strength of their 
horse would admit for an hour and a-half, when he 
began to show signs of exhaustion . 

"We'd better get off dis old crowbait and take to 



302 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

our legs," said the colored man, who was pretty well 
shaken up by this time. 

"I believe 3'ou are more than half right," replied 
Walter, jumping off, saying, " N©, you get in the sad- 
dle and go on ahead slowly ; maybe he can carry us, 
one at a time, for awhile " 

They proceeded about a mile, Walter following close 
upon his heels, when the colored man stopped and 
said, " Dast if I knows 'zactly which road to take 
heah ; let me study a bit." 

"Be sure you are right now," said Walter; "I 
have been depending on you. How did you come to 
know the roads down here, anyhow ? " 

"Oh ! dis my ole country down heah. I knowed 
dat ole wood soon as I seed it." 

" Did you live down here ? Were you a slave ? " 

' ' Yes, sail ; good long while, ago doh ; my old massa 
lib not berr}' far from where we were fust." 

" I do not exactly understand your case How did 
you come to be here, anyhow? " 

"I tells you nothin' mo' boss; I knows my own 
business ; I be friend of you, though; I git you to de 
ribber." 

Walter looked at him as if he saw^ some hidden 
secret in his crude mind, not heretofore noticed, and 
replied, " Well, if j^ou can get me safe to the Rapidan 
river, or better still, inside of our own lines, I will con- 
sider you my benefactor and ask no questions." 

"I will git you safe 'round the Johnnies. I show 
you de road ; I know what it is to be lost and hunt de 
right road when a fellow is strikin' foil liberty." 

" Did you just escape from your master before you 
enlisted ? " 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 303 

"No, no; I's been up in Canada long time, long 
time." 

" How came you to come down here to enlist ? " 

" Oh, I come down soon as I heard you was goin' to 
give our people free ; I said I was comin' back to help 
fight for de old starry banner now." 

' ' How did you ever find the road away up to Canada 
from here ? ' ' 

"On de underground railroad, but I tells you 
nothin'. I used to get lost though." 

' ' How would you get on the right track again ? ' ' 

" Oh, jes' do de best I could ; jest like you hab to 
now. I was almos' afraid to ax anybod}' ; only once I 
axed two small boys. I thought dey was too little to 
'spect much, 'sides they both putty good lookin' boys 
in de face, so I risked it." 

' ' Did they tell you the road ? ' ' 

" Yes, dey put me on de right track." 

" What were the boys doing ? " 

" Oh, dat my business, boss ; 'scuse me, but dat my 
business." 

"Were they in the road or in the field ? " 

The negro looked suspicious, and said, " I git you 
your freedom ; dat all 3'ou need know." 

"The boys were walking up a meadow bottom by a 
creek, near the side of a wood, were they not ? " 

The colored soldier looked both frightened and 
astonished, as he shook his head, and said, "Nothin' 
moh to say; nothin' moh to say." 

"Why, what are you afraid of.?" said Walter; 
"don't you know you are a free man now? and that 
the government is bound to defend you as one of her 



304 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

own soldiers, and bring you back if you should be cap- 
tured ? " 

' ' Yes ; but, den I rather not 1 — I — . ' ' 

" It was about dusk in the evening when you inquired 
the road of the boys, was it not? " interrupted Walter. 
"The boys were out setting traps, were they not? " 

"Hard to tell what time it might been," was the 
reply. 

"I think, if you will try to remember," continued 
Walter, "it was about dusk in the evening. There 
was a little snow on the ground, and you asked the 
way to Martin's cross roads, and then to John William- 
son's, after you had handed them a note to read." 

The colored man, opening his eyes like moons, said, 
" lyooky here! somebody has been tellin' you some- 
thing." 

" I assure you the boys never told me." 

"Isdat so?" 

" Did you ever tell it" 

" No ; sah, no, sail. 

"How, then, do you suppose I could have gotten 
the information ? ' ' 

" Don't know, don't know, 'less de boys told some- 
body, an' dat fellow told you." 

"No, sir; I never got the information in that 
way." 

"Well, sah, dat gits me, dat gits me." 

" Well, suppose I was one of the boys myself; don't 
3'ou suppose I would know it ?" 

The negro's eyes sparkled, his mouth opened to 
space running well into the inches, jumped off the 
horse, and exclaimed, "Lord, Heavens above, and 
great glory! are j'ou one ob de boys? Well, sah, you 



SOME OLD ACQUAINTANCES. 305 

nebber know how things turn up. You git 'stride o' 
dis hoss. I walk de balance of de way from dis out. 
What has become ob de tother boy ?" 

' ' The other boy also enlisted in our army. He \Yas 
wounded at Gettysburg so badly last summer that he 
is unable to soldier any more. He is lamed for life." 

" Lord, bless my soul alive ! 'member me to him 
when you see him. How queer things do turn out. 
You git on dat hoss, boss ; I walk all de balance ob 
de wa5\ I show you de far side of de river or de 
Union army before mornin'. You see one good turn 
deserves another 

Walter got into the saddle, thinking to him.self, 
"Yes, it is a little strange how things turn out, but 
then — 

See how far the little candle throws its beams." 




CHAPTER XVIII. 



SOMETHING DROPS. 



" What is so rare as a day in June ? " — Loivell. 

"The night has been nnruly ; * * * 
***** And, as the}' say, 

Lamentings heard i' the air ; strange screams of death; 
And prophesying, with accents terrible, 
Of dire combustion and confused events, 
New hatch 'd to the woful time." — Shakespeare. 

IT would be useless to follow Walter and his colored 
guide through all their evolutions and windings in 
reaching the Union army, so I say briefly that in course 
of time they reached it. Not, however, as soon as 
they anticipated, for they were like the man who was 
opening his first furrow across the prairie, and took a 
calf grazing on the opposite side for his mark, and found 
when he had reached his objective point that his fur- 
row was very zigzag, and, taken altogether, quite cir- 
cuitous, as his stopping place was very near the place 
from whence he had started.''^ As this remarkable 
feat in ploughmanship can be naturally accounted for, 
the fact that the object for which he was steering 
was endowed with the qualities of mobility, con- 
stantly changed its position ; so on this occasion the 
object of these two men's search and of their hearts' 
desire, was far from being stationar>\ With remark- 
able perplexity, wherever they went the Arnn^ of the 



*Oue of Abraham Lincoln's anecdotes. 



SOMETHING DROPS. 307 

Potomac, and especially their particular regiments, had 
just gone some place else. 

And thus it was, that fully twelve days had elapsed 
from the time he was captured until Walter was 
actually back with his own company and regiment. 
The boys welcomed him as one they had given up for 
lost. They had witnessed his steady hand at the head 
of his company all through the conflict, and his brave 
attempt to save the body of a friend. It was unani- 
mously agreed that he deserved to be promoted to a 
captaincy, which was soon done. The bringing of the 
horse back into camp, which Walter and the negro 
had concluded after all they had better hold on to, told 
in its own language that some exploit had been per- 
formed, but all the explanation Walter gave about it 
was simply that he had made his escape, and the}^ had 
captured the horse. 

The news that greeted him upon this return was not 
all, however, an unbroken stream of joy. Dave Miller 
had just left on a short permit in search of the One 
Hundred and Seventeenth, to learn what truth there 
was in the report that his brother Joe had just been 
killed at Spottsylvania. Used as he had now become 
to scenes of death and carnage, he was affected more 
than would have been supposed, by the news that he 
had merely exchanged places with Henry Kerr. That 
his friend now, instead of himself, was most likely 
securely lodged in some Southern prison. Yes, he 
was in lyibby, afterwards removed to Andersonville. 
Not so fortunate as yourself, Walter. He is destined 
never to see the flag of his country again, or hear 
the tramp of the Union army ; doomed to languish 
away, to suffer with hunger, to burn with fever, to die 



308 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

unattended, to be buried unknown to either mother or 
father, sister or brother. 

Yes, the thought of this shed considerable gloom 
over all the boys who had come to honor the Major 
for his sterling qualities. But to Walter, who val- 
ued him as a dear friend, whose honor, integrity, 
patriotism, courage and exemplary character he 
believed had been transcended by no man who had 
enlisted in defense of the Union, it fell like a heavy 
blow. He felt half mean at times when he thought of 
his own better fortunes; and, although he knew that 
his own capture and escape had naught to do with 
Henry's fate, he would think to himself, " How disap- 
pointed he will be when he gets to Andersonville and 
finds that I am not there. Maybe, I should have staid; 
we might have been some comfort to each other. I am 
sure, if I was there now, and Clinton was to lay my 
libert}' at my feet, I would not accept it without his 
being included with it." 

But I am digressing. Tired and weary, as Walter was 
that afternoon when he reached his camp, much as he 
longed to stretch out surrounded by his old comrades 
and take a long refreshing sleep, he first provided 
paper, envelopes and lead pencil, and wrote two letters: 
one to his mother, the other to Blanch Morton. The 
one penned for Blanch was as follows : 

In Camp, Army of the Potomac, near \ 
Spottsylvania, June i6, 1864. i 

Mi.ss Blanch Morton : 

3ry Bear Friend: — I embrace this, the earliest possible oppor- 
tunity I have had to write you a single line in reference to 
Harry. I can say only what you already know, that I made 
out very poorly in doing much for him. Take to yourself, how- 
ever, Blanch, the melancholy satisfaction of knowing that the 



SOMETHING DROPS. 309 

quality of which your own -noble virtue spoke as being more 
precious than life was untarnished. Yes, Harry's military 
career was short, and his death a stunning blow to you, but his 
honor is quite safe. It is useless to go into detail. Further on 
I may have the satisfaction of writing or teling it all to you 
more full}'. You may, perhaps, have heard the cause of my 
delav in writing. It is only necessary now to say that I am 
again in camp with my regiment, safe and all right. Remember 
me to all the familv. Yours verv truly, 

Walter Graham. 

He sealed these letters, endorsed them, gave them 
to Jack Matson, who promised him to start them by 
the first mail that left camp, if that should be before 
he awoke, and then stretched himself out for a long 
sleep. He aroused about sunset to come and partake 
of a good supper of fried hard tack, bacon and coffee, 
before they broke camp, as their orders were to be 
ready to march wdth three days' rations in half an 
hour. At ten o'clock they halted again and slept on 
their arms until morning, when Walter was aroused by 
Dave Miller, who came to speak to him and tell him 
that the news about Joe were only too trtte. 

" Did he suffer much? " asked Walter. 

"Severe enough for the time, I understood," replied 
Dave, " though, fortunately, not long. He died in half 
an hour from the time he was shot. ' ' 

"Dave, what is becoming of us, anyhow? and the 
boys and young men that were around Shocktown 
when we were boys there ? I remember when I used to 
sit and listen to men of fifty or upwards tell abotit their 
experiences of boyhood and the companions of their 
youth ; now they were .scattered or dead. What old 
men it seemed to me they were. And now it seems to 
me I have lived a hundred years myself, though I am 



310 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

confronted by the fact that I am only twenty-one. And 
you, whom I used to look upon as one of the ' big ' boys 
at school, are after all only twenty-four." 

" Yes, yes, Walt., it is astonishing. What a glorious 
thing, however, that we did not know the future. L,et 
us see how many of them have been actually killed or 
died by reason of the war. Of course, there were 
several other people around the neighborhood that we 
knew more or less remotely, but I am speaking of the 
boys who either went to the old public school or to the 
academy ; they are Frank Swave, Bill Boyle, Bob 
Long, and now, poor Joe." 

The last word he uttered with a sob, to which Wal- 
ter responded in a sympathetic tone, saying, " And do 
you know, Dave, I have a painful feeling that we will 
yet add to that list Henry Kerr." 

"Yes," said Dave, " and then, think, the end is not 
yet." 

" Yes, I almost censured myself for saying that very 
thing to your mother," replied Walter, "when I was 
home, when she spoke of how fortunate her three boys 
had been up to that time. ' ' 

' ' Walter, do you know, before I woke you I was 
just thinking of another thing. Do you remember 
when we first laj' down in camp that night in old Ken- 
tucky how Mr. Wagner and Mr. Flora, your two old 
school teachers, Henry Kerr and I, all took you in the 
tent with us to take a kind of fatherly care of you, and 
now if I live a little longer I will be home by expira- 
tion of my term ; Henry Kerr in prison ; Wagner and 
Flora already at home on honorable discharges. It 
looks indeed as though the boy we were to care for will 
be the last man of the five on the rolls." 



SOMETHING DROPS. 311 

Walter looked at him thoughtfully, nodded his head 
assentingly, but uttered no word, while Dave con- 
tinued, " Walt., do you know you have a right to feel 
proud of yourself? The place you have reached at 
5'our age exceeds almost any other case we know of 
except your old friend Tom Swave, who has been com- 
pelled to stop while you still go on. I can tell by the 
letters from home how you were honored by the whole 
neighborhood when you were there." 

" Here is a letter I have from Beckie, written before 
they heard of Joe's death. She says that all the 
neighbors around felt so sorry when they heard that 
you had been taken prisoner. Your sister Mary, it 
appears, was over at our place the day she wrote it. 
She has added a few lines, thanking me for the interest 
we took in you." 

" Well, Dave, I thank you all for all the kindness 
you have shown me. I do not know to what particular 
things Mary alludes, but I knew one thing, from her 
honest, unsophisticated and unsuspecting nature, there 
comes no hypocrisy. I will endorse everything she 
says." 

"Just so," replied Dave; "she is one of the most 
sincere girls, with a good streak of humor in her after 
all. Oh ! the things she alludes to here in the letter are 
simply nothing," handing the letter over to Walter. 
" You see. Jack, Tom, Jake and myself, all joined in a 
letter to your parents after you were captured. We 
extolled your gallant conduct, and presented a bright 
side to the case, saying, that we had every reason to 
think you would live to come back all right, I also 
wrote a letter to Will. Morton in the same strain, in 
which I explained to him all about your rash but 



312 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

heroic effort to save his brother's body." Hark! the 
bugle sounds, the drum beats. " Fall in, men, lively,'" 
are the next words that ring along the ranks. Dave 
Miller, who has now himself become second lieutenant, 
springs to his feet and is busied in the movements. 

This was the abrupt ending of their conversation. 
All is now activit}', but the movements are orderly. 
In five minutes the regiment is on the march, the 
men taking snatches of breakfast, as best they can, 
from their haversacks. Such was the unceasing vigi- 
lance, the untiring energy, with which the Army of the 
Potomac was kept attacking and assaulting, besieging 
and battering away at their enemy during the summer 
of 1864. No word painter could describe it better 
th in the simple utterance of an old soldier who passed 
through, it when he said. "I can declare truthfully 
before God and man that for thirty days I didn't have 
time to cook myself a cup of coffee." 

Young folks, who may chance read these pages, do 
not get your heads bemuddled or your imaginations 
wrought too high about the enormous campaigns or 
the gigantic feats that have been performed in ancient 
times as exceeding anything in history, simply because 
it is so written in a few text books and believed by 
some teachers and professors, who see them through the 
magnif3'ing medium of distance, but stop and exam- 
ine whether there is a military campaign in the whole 
list, from INIarathon to Waterloo, that cost a greater per 
cent, of life or was more stubbornly contested on the one 
or the other side than the one fought out by the two 
American armies on the .soil of old Virginia, in the sum- 
mer of 1864. Well may the sententious utterance, " I 
will fight it out on this line if it takes all summer, ' ' have 



SOMETHING DROPS. 313 

emanated from the commander of the invading forces. 
Why should we have any difficulty in comprehending 
the magnitude of the sacrifice of life on both sides of 
that campaign, after General Grant had made up his 
mind that he would suppress the rebellion if he had 
to do it by mere attrition ? The whole series of drawn 
battles in such rapid and quick succession, from Wil- 
derness to Cold Harbor, and indeed from thence on to 
Appomattox, was but the execution of that purpose. 
That any other man could have conquered by the 
same method is easil}- asserted. The admirers of Gen- 
eral Grant are content, perhaps, to answer that he, 
however, was the only man that did do it. The wis- 
dom of his plan may be the subject of criticism for a 
long time, but here again his friends are not without 
argument, for certainly the annual retreats of the 
Army of the Potomac the preceding summers, the 
invasions of the North which the Confederates were 
enabled to make by reason of their stratagems and the 
temporary relaxing of the efforts of the Unionists, the 
fresh starts that it was constantly requiring on the part 
of the North, the great battles that were being fought 
only at longer intervals, all gave plausibility to the 
theory that it was really less sacrifice of life in the end 
to just pounce down upon your enemy and hammer 
away at him until he is exhausted, than to encourage 
him by dragging the contest out so long, especially if 
you have discovered that you have a foe that will 
yield by no other method. For certain it is, from the 
morning General Grant crossed the Rapidan and 
opened his campaign in the Wilderness, General Lee 
was thoroughly engaged. He never again saw the 
time when he had leisure to take his army on an 
14 



314 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

excursion north of the Potomac. There is, indeed, 
reason to believe that from that moment on he knew 
he was crushed. But it may be asked, on the other 
hand, why should I argue this question now for 
General Grant since he, with characteristic modesty 
and honesty admits in his own memoirs that the attack 
upon Cold Harbor and one of the assaults upon the 
ramparts at Vicksburg he always regretted, as they 
were attended with no loss to the enemy adequate to 
the sacrifices in his own ranks. 

But behold again I have been digressing. Indeed, 
if some good friend will give me a thousand dollars for 
every digression I have made, I will give him the 
copyright to my book. But thus it is you can easily 
see how, through all this confusion of the army, Wal- 
ter's letters did not get started for several days. It is 
not beyond the bounds of imagination to understand 
that even after they did start they met with other 
aggravating detentions. In fact, it is not impossible 
to believe that a letter written by Jake Boyle to his 
folks a few days later reached Shocktown first. It 
contained the brief news, written in great haste, that 
" Walter Graham had been back in camp for over a 
week ; that he was captain now ; that he had made 
his escape from the rebels, had captured an officer's 
horse, rescued a nigger, and came riding into camp as 
large as life." 

This news caused great rejoicing at Graham's, 
though Mrs. Graham was almost afraid to place con- 
fidence in anything, especially as Walter had not writ- 
ten a line himself. She knew he would not keep 
them in suspense a moment longer than was necessary. 
But Jacob and Tom Swave both explained to her that 



SOMETHING DROPS. 315 

there were a thousand and one ways in which a letter 
written subsequently to Walter's might reach home 
first, and certainly Jake could not have imagined this. 
"True, all true," said Mrs. Graham, "and yet I will 
not be entirely at ease until I hear from Walter himself. 
In fact, not even then, for even since Jake's letter was 
dated there has been time for the whole army to be 
annihilated three times." 

And thus she lived on for two more days, between 
hope and fear, until Joe came home from the office, 
laying before her two letters endorsed in Walter's own 
hand. The one she opened first was dated two days 
later than Jake's, and confirmed what he had written, 
and made allusions to what he had said in the one he 
wrote her the day he got back to his regiment. She 
then opened the other to find that she had only the 
fulfillment of the prophecy that ' ' the first shall be last, 
and the last shall be first." 

Tom Swave, who was helping his father at times 
about the store, noticed these two letters as he changed 
the mail, and followed Joe in ten minutes over to the 
Graham home. They were scarcely done reading them 
when he came limping in. He was informed of their 
contents and there was a general rejoicing. The Gra- 
hams proceeded cheerfully to their dinner, and Tom, the 
same moment, went back to the store to tell his father 
and the villagers whom he met of the glad tidings. 

After dinner Tom conceived the idea of driving over 
to Mansdale. He knew that Will. Morton would be 
especially interested in the news, that the whole family 
would be interested in it in a general way, and he 
knew that he was interested in Blanch in a kind of 
indefinable way. He debated in his mind as to 



316 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

whether he should stop at Graham's and ask Mrs. 
Graham if Mary and Sue might go with him, if the}' 
wished. Although the girls were still j^oung, he felt 
sure now that Mrs. Graham would not deny him this 
request, and he felt more sure that the girls would 
accept. But still he hesitated considerabl}^ about the 
propriety' of it. Although, of course, it was fitting 
that they should be there on the occasion of the vet- 
eran party, or that this fellow and that fellow might 
call on the Morton's in a semi-business capacity about 
things pertaining to the war, or as condoling commit- 
tees over Harry ; 3'et who was authorized to say 
exactly how they might receive a purely uninvited 
social call from the Grahams? Perhaps he had better 
leave it alone. His own relation with Will, would 
warrant him of course in going himself, and any social 
freezing that he might experience from the lady mem- 
bers of the family he could keep entirely to himself. 
Still it seemed selfish to drive over alone on that lovely 
June day. " Ma}- be," he thought, " I had better ask 
Maggie Barnard to go with me. She would jump at 
the chance of course, and of course the Mortons could 
not discount her social standing, their own cousin, the 
belle of Shocktown, and the queen of the ball. 

After proving so conclusively to himself that it 
would be perfectly proper to take Maggie Bernard with 
him, what reason do j-ou suppose he ultimately 
found for going by himself? It is my province not to 
answer, only to state the fact, only to say that as he 
jogged along that lovely day in the early June enjo}-- 
ing his segar and engaged alone with his own thoughts, 
his mind went back over verj- much the same things 
that his old friends Walter and Dave Miller had been 



SOMETHING DROPS. 317 

talking about when the drum called them to action. 
He thought of the latest bereavement in the village, 
and the expression that was on Mrs. Miller's face the 
day the paper came saj'ing Joe had been killed at 
Spottsylvania, another victim out of his old company. 
He thought of his mother and his own brother Frank, 
both lying in the little church'-yard grave. He remem- 
bered that Frank and Dave Miller were like Walter 
and himself, about of an age and almost as intimate. 
He reflected on how many of his childhood compan- 
ions had already been sacrificed, and thought how 
much he had to be thankful for himself. He hoped, 
he truly hoped that Walter would live to get back all 
right. He trembled when he thought of the terrific 
manner in which the contest was still raging ; of the 
strong probability that Walter would 3-et be killed. 

A vague premonition, a faint foreshadowing of some- 
thing in connection with that thought, seemed to tell 
him that Walter's death might not be to his disadvant- 
age in the consummation of the half undefined purpose 
that was taking him to Mansdale that afternoon. He 
was startled for the instant like a guilty culprit at the 
thought of such a thought. Why had it entered his 
mind ? It was the brain in its cogitations simply that 
had spoken. He knew that it was not the soul. He 
bade the thought forever down. He called upon God 
to witness that he was not guilt}' of so mean a thing. 
He made no pretense of being as high in moral attri- 
butes as Walter Graham. He knew that his mind was 
less stable and perhaps more subtle than his friend's, 
but he could bow here under the shadows of these 
trees and swear before high Heaven that the thought 
which had pierced his brain for a single moment was the 



318 WALTKR GRAHAM, vSTATESMAN. 

thought of the devil, that it should find entering room 
in his mind never again. Nay, if it came to that, he 
could stand up and officiate at the wedding of Walter 
Graham and Blanch Morton as best man without an 
envious pang. He would put himself to the test, by 
always speaking of him to Blanch in the most com- 
plimentary terms. 

When he arrived at Mansdale he drove directly to 
the Morton mansion. Heretofore he had always gone 
first to the warehouse to see Will, and then be governed 
by developments. Somehow he forgot all about that 
circumlocution to-day and took a shorter cut to the 
object of his heart. He hitched his horse under the 
shade of the trees, walked up through the spacious yard 
and was met on the porch by Blanch herself, whose 
frank manner instantly dispelled any fear he may have 
had of being frozen out. 

" Why, Mr. Swave, we are glad to see you," she said. 
" How come you to be so thoughtful as to drive over 
this afternoon, just as we were all talking about you? " 

" Oh, the good angels always tell a person what to 
do. I just came over to bring you the news and hear 
what you have here." 

"That's right, come in. Miss Deaver is here, 
whom you met at the party. Her brother has been 
badly injured, lost a limb only a few days ago at 
North Anna." 

" Yes, I know her brother Charlie. He was a mem- 
ber of my old company." 

They went into the house where Aunt Mary, Cousin 
Ida and Miss Deaver all received him kindly, Tom 
inquiring of Miss Deaver the particulars about her 
brother, who told him that his leg had been amputated 



SOMETHING DROPS. 319 

above the knee, but the advices now were that he was 
in a favorable condition, and the doctors saw no reason 
why he should not recover all right. 

Tom remarked dryly, "Yes, yes, if they keep on 
there will not be much of the old One Hundredth and 
Seventeenth left." 

Miss Deaver replied, " No, I think not." 

Blanch remarked, half humorously, "Why, they 
don't amount to anything compared with the Seventy- 
fifth, do they? Don't you remember your friend, Mc- 
Knight's version of matters?" 

"Yes indeed," replied Tom, smiling the smile of reci- 
procity, ' ' when the war is over we will have to give 
Pat. a gold medal, with the inscription, " The country 
saved by the gallant Seventy-fifth." 

Ida smiled and said, " Perhaps you could not give it 
to anyone who would appreciate it more." 

Miss Deaver looked half inquiringly as Blanch 
remarked to her, " Oh, this is a little fun Mr. Swave 
and I have. Well, what is the news up atShocktown, 
anyhow, Mr. Swave, you said you came to tell us. 
We have told you ours already." 

"Oh, both good and bad," said Tom. "Joe Mil- 
ler, an old schoolmate of mine and Will.'s, too, has 
been killed, and Walt. Graham is all right, back with 
his regiment, and captian now." 

"Oh, say, tell us about it," they all exclaimed at 
once; "was he exchanged? W^hat is the latest news 
you have ?" 

"Well, his mother received two letters from him 
this morning, one dated considerably in advance of the 
other. They say he escaped." 

" Oh, I guess we got a letter from him this morn- 



320 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ing, too," said Aunt Mary, with a twinkle in her eye, 
and turning towards Blanch. 

"Is that so?" exclaimed Tom. "Perhaps your 
information is later than ours. Let me see that letter, 
Mi.ss Blanch." 

"Listen at the man, won't you," said Ida; " wants to 
read your letter, Blanch." 

"Why, certainly," said Blanch, turning to her 
drawer to get it, ' ' but I do not think it has anything 
later. In fact, it makes no allusion to himself except 
to say that he is back all right." 

"Well, yes," said Tom, smiling, " j^ou see I merely 
wished to learn the date. ' ' 

"Yes, yes, I understand," replied Ida, "you have a 
very ingenious way of stealing into Blanch's letters. 
You would not like to promise to look no further than 
the date, would you?" 

"Oh, now, 3^ousee, Mi.ss Ida, you have made me out 
a sinner; I will have to be one," replied Tom, as he 
took the letter from Blanch, and at her request, of 
course, read it carefully all through. 

"Now, you see," said Blanch, "he does not say 
an^'thing about himself except the bare fact." 

' ' Heroes never do talk about themselves, ' ' replied 
Tom. " Walt, is a hero, if ever there was one." 

"And I wonder what IVa//. calls Tom," said Ida. 

"Oh, well, that is what he calls me ; that is the 
Toi/i part of it. I am glad to hear you commencing 
to do the same. I think I have heard you girls even 
say Walt. I think you ought to extend the same 
courtes}' to me b}- saying Tom." 

"Oh, no; it is Will, that says Walt.," replied 
Blanch " I always spoke of him as Walter. 



SOMETHING DROPS. 321 

"Then she will have to call you Thomas," said 
Aunt Mary. 

"Oh, that kills me," said Tom. "I would not 
know whom you were speaking to." 

"I always thought Tom was a nice name," inter- 
posed Miss Deaver; " it is nice and easily said. You 
need not think of it as a nickname." 

The company all seemed to endorse what Miss 
Deaver had said, upon reflection, but there were some 
names ; there was no sense in nicknaming, such, for 
instance, as Walter that was short and easy enough 
in itself. Thus thej- discussed this important topic 
for several minutes, Blanch closing it with that 
thoughtful expression of merriment in her eye, saying, 
"Walter Graham and Tom Swave ; I suppose those 
are a couple of pretty good names. Two great boys 
undertook to go to war, one got wounded and had to 
come home, and the other was taken prisoner." 

"Yes, indeed, that is the way to put the rebellion 
down, is it not?" replied Tom. 

"Oh, girls, let us go outside," said Ida, as she led 
the way out on the porch, "it is so pleasant." 

The compau)^ all got up, went out on the porch, 
strolled about the yard, and had such a liveh' time, 
that it would be vain to attempt to describe it. Tom 
forgot to even inquire for Will, until nearly supper 
time. Certain it was, he no longer needed hiiu as a 
medium through which to see the girls. The Chris- 
tian resignation with which the family had accepted 
Harry's death was beautiful. Blanch had ignored all 
mourning, remarking simply to her father, " If my 
love for Harry is not inside of my breast, I cannot con- 



322 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

vince the world that it is there by wearing it on the 
outside." 

Her very presence seemed restful to Tom Swave that 
afternoon. She was almost gay. She was happy in 
the thought that she had read and re-read several 
times in Walter's letter, "His military career was 
short, and his death a stunning blow to you. But his 
honor is quite safe." 

" Harry dead and his honor quite safe. Better far 
than at home with us this lovely afternoon in dis- 
grace," she thought. Young Graham, she believed, 
must be something of a hero; Dave Miller's letter indi- 
cated it ; his own letter indicates it ; and here is his 
life-long friend calling him such. 

Thus they basked in the shade and the sunshine of 
the old yard and porches that afternoon. On one 
occasion Tom slipped up behind Blanch, with a large 
maple leaf curled down in the centre of his left hand, 
struck it with that peculiar scientific blow with his 
right hand which he had done so often when a young- 
ster, making it crack like a pistol in her ear. Blanch 
jumped, turned around and said, "Oh ! Tom Swave, 
you mean fellow, what shall I do with you ? " 

Tom shook with laughter while Blanch smiled in 
great amusement at his hearty laugh. Tom saying, 
" Come sympathise with her, girls. She is awfully in- 
jured." "Well, you are mean. Don't you think so 
yourself?" said Blanch, smiling complacently at him. 
' ' What made you drive over here this afternoon by 
yourself? Why did you not brirg cousin Maggie or 
Rachie with you? " 

" Oh ! bless me," said Tom. "How could I bring 



som:^thing drops. 323 

other girls with me, when I came to take you out rid- 
ing?" 

"Oh ! mercy, you are a long time asking a person. 
I never took you for such a backward young man." 

" Better late than not at all," replied Tom. " Come, 
I will take you around the town and show you the 
places of interest. ' ' 

"Oh, no," said Blanch, still smiling benignantly at 
him, and making an effort to fix a leaf in her hand in 
that peculiar cracking position so well understood by 
the boys. It is too near supper time now, I must go 
in and help Aunt Mary prepare it. Harriet went 
awa)^ O, I will tell you what we will do, girls, after 
supper. We will all take a drive over to White Hill ; 
some one said the honeysuckles are in bloom." 

"That would be nice," said Ida. 

" Yes, Tom, you will have to stay and be our escort. 
You can go with us, can you not, Miss Deaver? I am 
going to call John, and have him put 5'our horse 
away, Tom, and hitch ours to the big carriage after 
supper." 

"Well, hold on," said Tom, "you did'nt ask your 
father yet if you might go sporting around with his 
team." 

' " Well, I will send you down to the office to ask him 
if you may have them." replied Blanch. 

"Pretty good suggestion," replied Tom, "inas- 
much as I would have to ask and you don't. 

The pleasant afternoon thus passed away. John 
having come, told Blanch that the horses were all at 
work or away except old Charlie, Will, having gone 
away with the best driver. 

"Oh he will do for us, John. We only want to go to 



324 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

White Hill," said Blanch, with a kindness of voice and 
manner that captivated Tom almost more than any- 
thing that had occurred during the afternoon. 

At supper time Mr. Morton presented himself and 
was quite pleasant and greatly interested in the news 
that Tom brought from Walter. His letter to Blanch, 
he said, was so very short. 

After supper the three girls and Tom were seated in 
the big carriage behind " Old Charlie " on their way to 
White Hill. "Old Charlie" was a large, snow-white 
horse, with coat as clean as hands could make it, and 
gave evidence of the fact that the years were not so 
very long since he had been a beautiful dapple gray. 
White Hill was the little summer retreat of the neigh- 
borhood where all the wild flowers from the Jonnie- 
jnmp-up to the rich pink roses mingled their perfumes 
with each other in their respective seasons ; where the 
rocks lay over one another in stratified and unstratified 
masses, along whose sides at proper intervals giant 
oaks reared their heads and babbling springs came 
rippling down, whose water sprayed the broad-leaved 
ferns along its way ; where scientists went to botan- 
ize, poets to dream, cit)^ visitors to rusticate, old people 
to recuperate, and young people to amuse themselves. 

As the}^ drove along that evening they saw the 
honest yeomen working in their corn-fields, cattle graz- 
ing in rich pastures, wheat-fields standing level with 
the fences in deepest green, clover blooms of various 
hues, welcome shade trees here and there b}- the road 
side, and White Hill peering in the distance, all of 
which seemed to say, "We perform our nlission just 
the same, whether the country is at war or peace" — all 
of which seemed to say, "We are entirely oblivious of 



I 



SOMETHING DROPS, 325 

the fact that there is such a thing as distress in the 
land." 

This Httle company seemed to imbibe the spirit of 
restfuhiess, and for awhile forgot there was a war ; 
Cousin Ida saying, "Oh! what is so rare as a day in 
June? " 

Blanch said, "I guess an evening in June is about all 
that could be nicer." 

"A part}' of young girls driving along, and admiring 
it, is still nicer," said Tom. 

" Well, that is only an incident of June," said Ida. 
"I suppose it does not mar the beauty any if the 
young girls have a young gentleman to drive for 
them," said Miss Deaver. 

' ' Especially if the young gentleman is right agree- 
able," added Blanch, who was sitting in front with 
Tom, and looked into his face with that penetrating 
but tender glance mingled with its smile of latent 
humor, so peculiar to those half-crossed eyes. Tom 
was not more completely disabled at Gettysburg than 
he was now ; only this time the sensation w^as more 
pleasing. 

" M)', I did not know you were so sarcastic," he 
replied, seizing the whip in his hand, and making 
believe to strike " Old Charlie." "Don't you strike 
him," said Blanch, jumping at him sportively and 
catching his hand. "Father don't allow Old Charlie 
to be whipped." " I guess Blanch don't allow it," said 
the girls from behind. Tom was completely meshed, 
none the less so because the net was artlessly thrown. 
By the time they reached White Hill he could not have 
told whether the honeysuckles were in bloom or not, 
nor the difference between a dandelion and a thistle. 



k 



326 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

He did remember that they met Will. Morton and the 
little heroine from the South, Emma Reed, riding in a 
buggy; that they stopped and talked for a few minutes 
and seemed to be very happy; that they had also 
passed High. Bowers and Maggie Bernard, taking an 
evening drive ; that they stopped for a few minutes ; 
that High, was wonderfully deferential and asked with 
great interest after Walter. 

He remembered that as he went limping over the 
hill with the girls he held out his hand on one occa- 
sion to help Blanch across a little rill. His cane 
slipped and he let her fall in, but she escaped, simply 
wetting one foot. The girls- all laughed heartily, 
Blanch herself seeming to enjoy it best of all, as she 
said, smiling, "Captain Tom Swave, what an escort 
you are for the ladies, anyhow. Stop, and let us 
escort you. Girls, get behind the poor old Gettys- 
burger, and push him up the hill." He knew, of 
course, that he got back to Morton's all right, and in 
due time started for home. As he walked out to the 
gate to get in his buggy Blanch said to him, "Tom, 
I want you to tell me something." 

" What is that?" said Tom. 

"What kind of a man is this High. Bowers, who 
seems to be rather intimate with Cousin Maggie?" 

"Oh, he is a right plausible young fellow. He is 
the nabob of our neighborhood, and his father is rich 
and influential." 

" But is he a man of character? that is what I want 
to know. ' ' 

"I do not hold those intimate relations with him, 
which warrant one in answering that question." 



SOMETHING DROPS. 327 

"Your answers are evasive. Tell me, Tom, in con- 
fidence, what you know about bim." 

Astute as Tom Swave was, tbe honest countenance 
that looked at him now was hard to evade ; but he 
answered, " My impressions have always been against 
taking him into my extreme confidence." 

"Well, excuse me," said Blanch, " I will press you 
no farther." 

He got into his buggy and started home, and be it 
remembered, though, as previously stated his head was 
always a little steadier on matters of love than Wal- 
ter's, it swam considerably that night as he drove 
towards Shocktown. Blanch turned, went to her 
room and commenced to answer Walter's letter. The 
family had all told her she should acknowledge it 
soon. Of course she would attend to it soon. She sat 
down and commenced it three times. Schooled as she 
was in etiquette and the forms of letter writing, and 
aided still more by her natural good sense, she never 
had been so perplexed in deciding how to commence a 
letter. Dear Walter seemed a little too warm ; Dear 
Sir decidedly too cold. The circumstances of the case 
justified more than that. Esteemed Fi'iend too formal. 
" What shall I say," she thought; " I ought to have 
kept Tom to help me write," unconsciously smiling 
and talking still in silence to herself " He is such a 
good-natured fellow ; I kind of half like him. I won- 
der if I was too free with him to-day." But her 
thoughts soon went back to Walter and the letter. 
After she got it started, what was she to say in it ? It 
must be submitted to father ; of course, it must. She 
would not think of sending it without his seeing it. 
She would show it to all the family at the breakfast 



328 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

table in the morning. She wondered what Aunt Mary 
would think of it, and she did want father to approve of 
it ; so after tearing it up for the fourth time, she com- 
pleted it once more from beginning to end without an 
erasure or interlineation, and said involuntarily, "This 
is the time I have got it perfect, and this is the way it 
shall go." It was as follows : 

Mansdai^I';, June id, 1864. 
Afj Friend, Walter Graham: 

Your letter of the i6th of last niontli was only received to- 
day. Therefore, you will understand the cause of the delay in 
this answer. We were all rejoiced to learn the good news in 
reference to yourself, though yon made such a slight reference 
to it. 

Be assured that we all do thank you beyond the power of 
words to express for j-our noble efforts in Harrj^'s behalf. You 
have no apology to make for not doing more. It is we that 
owe every apology to you, and certainly no words could express 
the thought better than your own, "Though his career was 
short, and his death a stunning blow to us all, his honor is quite 
safe. ' ' 

We do take comfort in that thought, Walter, and I know 
that your friends are all proud of the fact that your honor is 
equally secure. Your friend Tom was here this afternoon ; he 
drove a lot of us girls over to White Hill, and we all had a 
loveh- time. He always speaks of you in the most kindly man- 
ner. All the family join in wishing to be remembered to you. 
With hopes that we may hear from you again at your con- 
venience, I remain, Yours Very Respectfully, 

Blanch Morton. 

At breakfast she handed the letter to her father, say- 
ing, ' ' Father, here is the letter I have written to Wal- 
ter Graham, see if it will do." " Oh, I do not care to 
inspect j'our letters, child," said Mr. Morton. 

" Well, I will just read it for the benefit of all," said 
Blanch, which she did, and they all thought it would 



SOMETHING DROPS. 329 

do. She sealed it, and after breakfast started with it 
to th^ office herself. She held it in her hand all the 
way ; but she kept the indorsed side in as she walked 
down the street ; somehow she never felt such a 
strange sensation in mailing a letter before. It 
was a lovely June morning. The mist was still 
hanging over the borough. It was going to be 
another lovely June day, the very counterpart of 
yesterday, aye, an historic June day. She stepped 
into the office and looked up at the clock. It 
w^as just twenty minutes past seven. There was no 
person about except the clerk inside. She slipped the 
letter in the hole. She heard it drop. Oh ! the strange 
law of coincidence. That same moment something else 
dropped, though Blanche Morton heard it not. It was 
far away in old Virginia. It was Walter Graham. 
He is lying now on the field of Cold Harbor, where a 
musket ball has burrowed a hole c4ear through his left 
breast, and the life blood is flowing profusely therefrom. 




k 



CHAPTER XIX. 

RETROSPECT. 

"Grim visaged war has smoothed his wrinkled front." 

—Richard III. 
TT is June, 1867. It is the second of June, 1867. 
-^ It is a Sunday evening in June, 1867. It is just 
three 3'ears since Tom Swave took his carriage load of 
girls over to White Hill and had such a delightful 
time. To-morrow morning will be the third of June, 
1867. 

It will just be three years since we left Walter 
Graham lying prostrate and bleeding on the field of 
' ' Cold Harbor ; ' ' but where is he now ? That is the 
question ! Of course, you know the clash of resound- 
ing arras has ceased through the land ; but where is 
Walter? We will tell you without a moment's sus- 
pense : he is sitting on a log down by the tail-race, in 
the- shadow of his father's saw mill, listening to the 
water plashing down on the old head gate, and water 
wheel — just as he had done many a Sunday afterncon 
before in the days of his boyhood. He is not flashing 
sword or baj^onet at the head of ' 'burnished rows of 
steel' ' to fright the souls of fearful adversaries ; but he 
is complacently punching with a lap-wood stick the 
ground, and at a pile of scantling before him, while his 
thoughts are deeply busied in contemplation of the happy 
event which awaits him on the morrow. He is whis- 
pering to no friend, with bated breath, between groans 
of pain and jets of life-blood, — "Tell my parents not 



I 



RETROSPECT. 331 

to grieve for me if this should be the end," — but he is 
enjoying, apparently, the best of health, and he is 
in reality the happiest man on earth. He is going to 
Sharwood to-morrow morning to be admitted to the 
Bar. He could define now, in technical language, the 
word lazv, but he no more understood than did the 
great author of that definition himself, all the rules of 
action that were prescribed b}^ that superior power ; 
but he smiled complacently when he thought how he 
had knocked the examining committee out the evening 
before, each time, as they fired the questions at him 
about natural law and divine law ; international law 
and municipal law ; common law and statute law. 
How he explained to them the necessity of invoking 
the aid of equity when they all failed, "by reason of 
their universality. ' ' How he let them know the objects 
of all laws were rights ; zvrotigs. 

What was the use of his opening the lids of Black- 
stone to learn that, he thought. Why that is what 
my mother taught me at her knee twenty years ago. 

Still, he had a right to feel well satisfied with the 
manner in which he grappled with the committee for 
two and a half hours as the}' listened to his definitions 
of natural persons and artificial persons ; of their abso- 
lute rights, and their relative rights ; of their public 
relations, and their private relations ; of things real, 
and things personal ; of the feudal system, and the 
different feuds ; of the estates of freehold, and less 
than freehold; of those of inheritance, and not of in- 
heritance ; of those in possesion, and those in expect- 
ancy ; of tenants in severalty or tenants in common ; 
of title by descent, or title by purchase. How he made 
his way .safely through all these and various other top- 



f 



332 WALTER GRAHAM, STATE.SMAN. 

ics, with all their subdivisons and fine distinctions, it is 
useless to relate, even plunging into the rule in Shelly 's 
Case with a confidence which caused old Judge Upham 
to smile. He felt he had acquitted himself equally 
well as the}^ led him over the subjects of practice and 
pleading; of evidence and equitj^; and that his journey 
through criminal law had been only a pleasure excur- 
sion. But the thing which provoked the broadest 
smile on the old Judge's tace was when the committee 
touched iiim up a little on the constitutional powers of 
his own government ; about the relative rights of the 
general government and the states thereof ; about the 
powers expressed and the powers withheld, in their 
different constitutions, until they led up to the direct 
question : 

"Well, what do you say, has the ITnited States the 
right, or constitutional power, to issue paper money at 
any time ? as for instance the greenbacks, as we called 
them during the war." 

" Why certainly," replied Walter with great prompt- 
ness, "the government had as much right to do that 
for its own preservation, if it was necessary during the 
war, as anything else. There must always be, some- 
where, an inherent, latent power in every government 
to maintain its own existence, or it is no government." 

The committee all smiled except Mr. Fate, who 
looked a little sour, as the old Judge remarked, half 
way between satire and humor, "That is what we 
always like — young men who can answer the gravest 
constitutional questions off-hand." 

Walter looked around, slightly in ignorance as to 
whether he had been satirized or complimented ; 
though it is doubtful if in greater ignorance than was 



RETROSPECT. 333 

the committee itself as to how nearly correct his an- 
swer had been in giving the very basis on which grave 
judicial decrees should yet technically defend the action 
of the government. But the point on which no one 
was probably in doubt, was to which of the two schools 
of political faith the student belonged. 

Naturally enough, as Walter sat that Sunday eve- 
ning in such a tranquil state of mind, feeling so kindly 
towards all the world, and looking with such high 
expectancy into the great future that lay before him 
— he remembered that to-morrow was the third of June ; 
involuntary his thoughts turned backward, and he felt 
almost happier than he had been before. He was seized 
with an inexpressible feeling of gratitude. Nay, he 
would not stand to-morrow in that forum of justice and 
assume his solmn obligation to act with fidelity in his 
high office as attorney, and receive the congratulations 
of friends on that third anniversary of Cold Harbor, 
without returning thanks to Almight}^ God by whose 
overruling providence he was thus permitted to stand ; 
nor fail to pray that he might never grow unmindful 
of the comforts of her .by whose noble sacrifices ; whose 
unceasing devotion and undying love, he knew he was 
this day breathing ; by whose untiring w^atchfulness 
and tender nursing he knew he had been dragged back 
from the very threshold of the grave. 

The retrospect which he took of the three fleeting 
years, since that historic June day when he lay upon 
that field with ten thousand others, while the dry earth 
was drinking in their life's blood, had brought him 
almost to a melting mood. Now that this was such a 
soft June evening, and no one about to see him play 
the woman, he would just let the few tears that had 
started steal down his cheeks. 



334 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

When he thought of it, he could almost feel yet the 
shock of that ball as it pierced his lung, as he fell back, 
exclaiming, " Great God ! at last, at last !" 

He lay for a few minutes entirely unconscious of the 
slaughter that was going on around him. He remem- 
bered raising up, hearing the groans of dying men on 
every side; getting upon his feet and walking, with a kind 
of supernatural effort, some fifty yards to the rear, when 
he sank down again, vomiting and fainting, but not to 
rise again until the October frosts laid open the chest- 
nut burs at his dear old home. He remembered return- 
ing to consciousness again ; all firing had ceased, but 
the death groans had increased. The dead and dying 
numbered ten thousand ; the time measured twenty 
minutes. 

He felt the hand and recognized the voice of Dave 
Miller, as he administered some stimulants and bathed 
his forehead with the same. He heard Dave say, " I'm 
all right, Walter ; so is Pat ; so is Jack ; Sam and 
Jake are both slightly injured ; we will take care of 
you." He understood they got him on a stretcher and 
carried hira to the rear, while still vomiting and faint- 
ing. He motioned Dave close to him, and tried to 
whisper something (they were the words already given 
— "Tell my parents not to grieve for me; if this 
should prove the end, I am content"). I cannot say 
that at anj^ time he bade them lay him down to attend 
to themselves, or to others, whose necessities were 
greater than his own. The opportunity past, he left 
no such immortal sentiment escape his lips to go softly 
down the ages. 

But, hold ! Perhaps there were none around him 
whose necessities were greater than his own. You 



RKTKOSPECT. 335 

might have thought so, at least, as you listened to the 
comments of the surgeons around the field hospital, 
where his comrades finally laid him. 

"No time to waste on men that are done for," said 
one. 

" Oh, Lord ! Poor man ; his suffering will soon be 
over," said a second. 

"Why, good heavens!" said a third; "put your 
ear here yourself; you can tell the ball has gone 
straight into his lung. What's the use in us fooling?" 

Used as these men had become to scenes of suffering, 
and plying their vocation of mercy, while oaths and 
jests fell from their lips, Walter Graham, even in his 
condition, could distinguish between those which were 
the result of mere thoughtlessness and familiarity with 
such scenes and those which emanated from hardness 
of heart and mere wanton cruelty; as was the case, be 
it said for the credit of humanity, with only one 
drunken fellow who stumbled over his legs, giving him 
a kick and exclaiming with a curse, "Take this man 
away! " He received the reprimand of his associates, 
and Walter afterwards learned his name and saw to it 
that his commission was taken away. 

But, our blessings sometimes come in disguise. This 
very act of barbarity called the attention of two of the 
doctors, who had already left Walter as dying, to him 
a second time, as they said, "merely for the purpose 
of changing his position and giving him a glass of 
water, and making him as comfortable as possible 
while he lasted," when, one of them, taking a second 
look into his eyes and placing his hand upon his pulse, 
said, "Look here, let us examine this man more 
closely after all ; get his clothes off and let us see 



336 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

where this ball is anyhow." This being done, the 
other exclaimed, "Why, good Heavens! the ball has 
gone clear through him, that is in his favor." 

"Yes! Yes!" w^as the reply, " we were correct in 
our first diagnosis, as far as we went ; the lung has 
been pierced but the ball is not lodged there, it has 
gone clear through." 

" That is in his favor, as you sa}'; that gives him 
a fighting chance." 

" Ha, ha, young man, j-ou have a fighting chance 
left yet. Here, lay him over on this side, give him 
close attention and good supportive treatment ; just 
let nature have a fair show and he may live j^et." 

By this time Dr. Cain, whose eyes had first seen 
Walter over twenty-one years ago, and who was still 
in the service, arrived. He examined him, confirmed 
the statement of the other two surgeons and told him, 
in response to his request to conceal nothing, that 
while he had a chance for life it was a fighting one, 
indeed ; that from this moment on he would have to 
fight as he had never done in the tempest of battle, if 
he meant to conquer. 

And Walter Graham turned his face over on his 
Ijlood-stained coat and did commence from that moment 
the stubborn conflict with Death, and fought for six 
long months as he had never fought in the tempest of 
battle before it could be safely said that Death was 
vanquished. 

Four days later, as he lay in a hospital at Washing- 
ton, awakening from a brief nap induced by opiates 
and exhaustion, burning with fever and half de- 
lirious, he thought he saw entering the door a female 
fi8:ure. As it advanced toward his bed-side he thought 



RETROSPECT. 337 

it was familiar ; he opened his eyes again to gather 
his senses, and heard the gentle words, ' ' Walter, do 
you know me ?" 

Feebly enough he replied, "Yes, mother, I know 
you." 

Nine-tenths of all that happened from this time on in 
the long struggle, you can imagine just as correctly as 
I can tell you ; with the exception of one thing not 
always understood. Mrs. Graham experienced more 
difficulty in being admitted to see Walter at all times 
than she had anticipated. It was against the rules for 
her to remain constantly, unless as a regular nurse. 

She applied at once to the Sanitary Commission to 
be commissioned as one. She had gone to Washing- 
ton to nurse her son until he got well or died, and she 
was not to be baffled in her purpose. But, meanwhile, 
she took a shorter and more effective cut ; she went 
straight to Abraham Lincoln She went away wdth his 
signature to a polite note to the proper official, which 
read, " Please let Mrs Graham have constant access 
to the hospital, as she is willing to help generally 
with all the sick. A. Lincoln." 

So the contest between life and death went on for 
four weeks with no apparent gain for Walter, at which 
time he motioned to his mother to place her ear close 
to him, and he said : " Mother, why prolong this con- 
flict ? Why not let death claim the victory now ? 
Life is not worth the struggle. I can go so happy it 
3^ou are willing. ' ' 

Mrs. Graham laid her cheek down upon his hollow 
one as the tears trickled down over it and said : ' ' Oh ! 
Walter, my dear boy, I do not like to be selfish, for I 
know how ready you are to go, but don't you think 

15 



338 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

you can hold on a little longer? The doctor said this 
afternoon your wound had commenced again to dis- 
charge healthy puss at both openings. Don't j'ou 
think, my dear son, you can try once more on our ac- 
count ? We all do love )'Ou so, and something told 
me when I started from home that you were not to be 
taken from us in this way." 

Walter made an efifort to kiss his mother, and said in 
a whisper : ' ' Mother, I will try once more for your 
sake." And he summoned up all the resolution and 
vitality that were left and renewed the battle just where 
he began it more than four weeks before. 

At the end of three more weeks there seemed to be 
some visible gain on Walter's side. A week later he 
called his mother to him once again and said: ' ' Mother, 
dear, won't you go home now to father and the rest? 
I have passed the Rubicon now — I feel it. What is the 
use in sacrificing one life to save another ? Won't you 
go home and take a rest ? " 

His mother took his hand in hers, pressed her lips 
upon his forehead and said : ' ' Walter, do you think I 
would leave you in this condition ? Yes, you have 
passed the Rubicon and are safe, but only by my staying 
and constantly watching and dressing your wounds 
regularly, are you entirely safe." 

Four weeks later he could sit up a little in bed, prop- 
ped up with the pillows; but Mrs. Graham said: 
" Let those sores once heal before nature has succeeded 
in throwing off all she wants and there is great dan- 
ger yet." 

The doctor had to admit that her view of the matter 
was really the correct one, and she still staid. 

Two weeks later he could sit up for ten minutes at a 



RETROSPECT. 339 

time on a rocking chair, look out of the window and 
see the autumn leaves putting on their various hues. 

He would say, " How beautiful it must be now out 
in our old woods at home and up the meadow and 
along the hill-side by the dam. The chestnuts must 
be ripe. I expect Joe is gathering them.''' 

Two weeks later he could walk about the hospital 
for five minutes at a time. He became impatient to go 
home. He said, "Why don't the furlough come? I 
think, mother, we had better take your plan, since you 
will not leave me ; if you had me home, you could get 
some rest and take care of me at the same time." 

" My dear boy," said his mother, " the furlough has 
been ready for a week, but I have not felt it safe as yet 
for you to start. I think, perhaps, in a few days now, 
we can start ; then father will come down and help us 
on our journey." 

" Oh ! for mercy sake, don't bring the whole family 
down," replied Walter. "The people will think I am 
a poor stick if I can't get home now by m3^self." 

" Ha, ha, ha," laughed the surgeon, who had over- 
heard their conversation. 

"You need not be afraid of any one calling j-ou a 
poor stick. Major, for, understand, you are to be made 
a major before you return home." 

" No, nor you need not be ashamed to go home with 
your father, if he is in any way worthy of the mother 
you possess." 

" I am not ashamed to go home with him," replied 
Walter demurely. 

' ' I am ashamed of myself ; besides, we will delay 
here until after the election. I 7nust be home in time 
to vote for lyincoln." 



k 



340 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

Mrs. Graham and the doctor both smiled, Walter's 
mother saying, " Well, I think, if b}^ next week you 
still have been gaining strength, and the weather is 
favorable, we will try it." 

Next week they did try it ; and although Jacob Gra- 
ham was there *to help, provided with cot and blankets 
and pillows that he had brought all the wa)' from 
home, to make a temporary bed for his son to rest on in 
the car, as his strength would fail him, and to pay all 
attentions and render all assistance in his power, that 
the journey might not be too fatiguing, Walter found, 
as the cars rolled up to the station at Shocktown, amid 
a drizzling autumn rain, that once again his mother's 
judgment had been better than his own, and that, glad 
as he was to get home, they had undertaken the jour- 
ney quite soon enough. He was far from being as 
.strong as he expected, and his wounds were needing 
immediate attention. 

Is it any wonder that as Walter Graham sat that 
evening taking this retrospect to himself and of him- 
self, and contrasting it with his present happy con- 
dition, that he should pause to think of how much he 
had for which to be thankful ; that he should feel like 
shedding a few tears of gratitude ? In short, as he 
looked about, with one glance over the whole ground 
he had traveled, the experiences he had undergone, 
the sights that had come to his youthful eyes since the 
night, when a boy of eighteen, he told his mother of 
his intention to enlist, until the day he was brought 
home in the cars by his parents, scarred and wounded, 
and exhausted, a man of twenty-one, he asked him- 
self whether the whole thing was not a dream, when 
he had awoke from his slumber, until reason reassured 
him that it was all a living reality. 



RETROSPECT. ' 341 

Was it not natural for him, since we of this gen- 
eration who have lived through it can scarcely realize 
it, how can we expect those who succeed us to under- 
stand it? And was it not sound philosophy in him to 
reach the conclusion, that to be constantl}^ rehearsing 
it was but to call one's veracity in question, and that to 
dwell as little as possible upon his own part in the great 
drama was but true modesty. Of course the war was 
far from being over, the da}^ he arrived home in the 
the rain ; for six long months of stubborn resistance 
still remained, in which the sacrifices of eighty thous- 
and more lives attested the desperation of the Southern 
cause. But it was the end with Walter ; so far as he 
individually was concerned 5'ou could write finis. Of 
course, he was far from being well, and his mother far 
from being relieved of her anxiety. Indeed, it ran well 
into the winter before the physician said officially, 
" The wound seems to be healed in a natural way; all 
danger of internal gathering is apparently over. Of 
course, that lung may be a little sensitive for a long 
time, but I should say now we are out of the woods." 
But he saw, so far as concerned himself in his retro- 
spect that evening, a grand ovation rather than a career 
of suffering during the fall and winter thatifollowed his 
return home. In fact, the train had scarcely stopped 
at Shocktown until it was boarded b}' four of his 
original comrades who had enlisted with him in Com- 
j» pany G of the Seventy-fifth, namely, Dave Miller, 
ft Jack Matson, Sam. L,ong and Jake Boyle, all of whom 
B were home now by reason of the expiration of their term 
B of service, and all of whom had been with him on the 
■ field of Cold Harbor. They gathered around him 

i 



342 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

with a stretcher they had prepared, and proceeded to 
carry him out, Walter waving his hand and exclaim- 
ing with more force than was beneficial for his strength, 
"Oh! no, no, my dear old comrades and friends, 
don't do this. I can walk ; I can walk." 

His mother, breaking down for the first time, said, 
"Walter, you will have to submit," and leaned upon 
her husband, who added, "Yes, Walter, you may as 
well surrender to the boys ; let them have their way." 
His comrades all saying to Mr. and Mrs. Graham, 
" You are to go directly home in the carriage that is in 
waiting for you ; we will take charge of Walter." 

They carried him out, laid him on a bed of straw in 
a covered spring wagon, in the front of which sat his 
brother Joe and Tom Swave, holding the horses. The 
boys all got in and the team started slowly towards his 
home. He remembered that as they turned the corner 
by Swave' s store a group of school boys gave three 
cheers for Major Graham ; and he was sure he heard a 
couple of adult voices mingle in the cry. 

He remembered that they carried him into the house, 
sat him down in the old arm chair, bade him farewell 
for the present and left him to the privacy of the 
family, while he almost choked as he attempted to 
thank them. 

The stream of callers, the daily inquiries and friendly 
messages that poured in on him for the first few days, 
were quite enough for his strength. 

A week later he, muffled up in a great coat, got in 
the back .seat of the carriage with his father, while 
Joe drove them carefully over to the village to the 
election. And the villagers said, " What a sight," as 



\ 



RETROSPECT. 843 

he walked up to the window on the arm of his father ; 
with a government bond in his pocket, with unhealed 
wounds upon his body, with feeble step, and hands as 
white as the ticket between his fingers, to deposit his 
maiden vote for Abraham Lincoln. . 

He heard some by-standers say as he was returning 
to the carriage, "That looks mighty different from 
Jake Boyle's conduct. I think if I had been like him, 
out in the war and been wounded at that, and had a 
brother killed in it besides, I would have the credit of 
it now ; I would vote the way I shot. ' ' 

"Hush! hush!" said Walter, softly, and shaking 
his head, ' 'Jake has been a good soldier, and a true 
patriot. I am sorry he sees things as he does, but that 
is his privilege." 

Perhaps it should be stated right here that the other 
Democratic boys who enlisted with Walter — Sam. 
lyong, Jack Matson, and his old teacher, Mr. Wagner 
— they were all casting their ballots that day in happy 
unison with himself ; they belonged to that great army 
whose conversion had been wrought in fire and battle. 
Though Jake was the only one who adhered through 
it all to his Democratic moorings, the gentleman 
who made the remark about him belonged to the 
army that was known as the "Stay-at- Homes." Thus 
even Mr. Williamson was heard to say on one occa- 
sion, "The 'Copperheads' and ' Stay- at- Homes ' do 
the commenting in the rear, while the ' Black Republi- 
cans ' and 'War Democrats' fight the battles in the 
front." 

But Walter's fall and winter at home need not be 
further described. 

I need not stop to tell how the reaction that followed 



344 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

both for him and his mother after their journey , began to 
pass safel}' over ; how they would take long recuperating 
sleeps every morning ; how they even supplemented 
them with an additional nap after dinner ; how his 
mother would say to him, "Walter, I do think we 
will have to run a race to see who can sleep the longer." 

How Sue would say, " I think the judges would 
have a hard time to decide which was the winner." 

How the doctor would say, " L,etthem sleep on ; it's 
the best medicine they can take." 

How he soon began to take great interest in public 
affairs, reading the paper through every day ; how he 
finally got to walking out as far as the mill every day 
and have a half hour's chat with Mr. Jones, the mil- 
ler, and the neighbors as they dropped in. 

How he was summoned back one day before his 
visit to the mill was finished by the announcement 
that there was a young gentleman with a two horse 
carriage load of ladies at the house to see him ; how 
he hurried back to meet Will. Morton and Blanch, 
Cousin Ida and her Cousin Emma ; how he thought 
their visit after all was a little formal ; that Blanch 
betrayed just a little of her early coyness, though he 
could see she was the same natural born lady. He 
was at a loss to know exactly where to place the slight 
embarrassment, upon his mother, his sisters, himself, 
or upon the other visitors, or upon Blanch alone. 

But, oh ! the long happy winter nights ! How he 
would sit and play euchre with Tom Swave and Dave 
Miller, and the rest of the family, even inducing mother 
to take a hand sometimes. How he would play checkers 
through the day with his father and old Mr. Williamson 
when he dropped in. How it was about the first of Febru- 
ary when his final discharge came, all unsolicited on his 



RETROSPECT. 345 

part. Yes, mustered out, with the rank of major, for 
"physical disability, by reason of being shot through 
the left breast and lung at the battle of Cold Harbor," 
and not yet twenty-two years old. Certainly he remem- 
bered how Mr. Williamson remarked, though he could 
not believe it, " lyay it away safely, it is worth more 
to you than any farm in Jefferson county." And he 
remembered Tom Swave saying, " Didn't I tell you, 
Walt., you would get above me before we were 
through." How he began to read the histories of the 
civil war that were already beginning to appear ; how 
he spent an hour each day over at the school with 
Prof. Baker, who so kindly allowed him to recite with 
the L,atin and German classes, that he might refresh 
himself in all that he had gone over. 

How the professor would come over twice a week 
and spend an evening with him reading the magazines 
and studying Shakespeare. How he smiled and said, 
' ' I suppose I shall have to do something to keep 
up;" when the professor told him, "Tom has been 
reading Gibbon's Rome and Dr. Johnson since he has 
been home, and he reads well, too ; the only thing is 
it is a little difficult to get him at it." 

How the early longings and ambitions of his youth 
began to revive in his breast. 

How he had hoped to have had a thorough education 
and been a full-fledged lawyer at the bar by that time, 
when the unforeseen event of the war switched him 
from his purpose. 

How the professor told him he was yet young ; that 
he could be admitted to the bar just in the path he 
was now pursuing, by close application, if he would 
take the time ; or that if the meagerness of his purse 



346 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

would not permit of his going through the older and 
more expensive colleges of the East, as Yale or Har- 
vard, he could have a preceptor here, and take the law 
course at Ann Arbor. 

How delighted he was when his father came in one 
evening, and said to him : "I have been to Sharwood 
to-day. Ex-Judge Eatham says the professor's plan is 
feasible. He will take you as a student." 

I know it is useless to tarry longer to tell how Wal- 
ter started to Sharwood the next week himself, taking 
his two sisters with him for the trip, where they 
all called upon Miss Eesher ; and he upon the old 
judge, with whom he had a long and satisfactory inter- 
view, and whom he left, feeling satisfied that he fully 
deserved his high reputation for probity and upright- 
ness. How, as he counted over his fortune that day, 
the accumulation of his pay in the army, he found he 
was pretty rich for a young man of his age, after all ; 
he found he would have enough to pay oflF the last fi.ve 
hundred dollars of his father's mortgage ; put himself 
through two years at Ann Arbor, and still enough left 
to buy his mother a gold watch, a sofa for the parlor, 
a little present for Mary and Joe, and pay Sue's tuition 
one term at the normal school. 

Surely, he never felt happier, not even this Sunday 
evening, than he did that night when he returned 
from Sharwood after having done all those things. 

A unique picture, indeed, he presented two weeks 
later among the students of the university. Boys who 
were already veteran soldiers, returning to school, after 
the war, to finish their education. Lieutenants and 
captains, majors and colonels, knocking at the doors 



RETROSPECT. 347 

of our institutions of learning, asking for a little time 
to finish up what they had unavoidably postponed, pre- 
sented a novel as well as a sublime scene, equalled 
only by the cordial welcome with which those insti- 
tutions received them, as they opened their doors, say- 
ing, " Pass right in, gentlemen ; make yourselves per- 
fectly at home ; plenty of room for all such." 

And Walter was perfectly at home, as he found lots 
of similar company, not the least notable among whom 
the succeeding term was his remote kinsman, Wendell 
P. Bolton, who was one of the few early enlistments 
who participated in the grand review of 1865, and was 
now entitled to be called captain. 

But this is a digression from his thoughts as he sat 
that Sunday evening on the log at th,e saw-mill, while 
the soft and mellow sunlight rested on the hillside, 
on the placid waters of Silver creek and the little 
valley, while the twilight was stealing silently on. 
When he was a lawyer ; not at twenty-one, but at 
twent}'-four; when he was not as flush in cash as he 
was at twenty-one ; when he went to make arrange- 
ments for his studentship and pay his parents the debt 
he felt he owed them for the services of which he had 
deprived them before he was of age ; he found that his 
calculation as to expenses, though close, had been cor- 
rect, for he could still look into his purse at his last ten 
dollars, two of which his preceptor had so very thought- 
fully told him to have ready to hand to the court crier 
to-morrow when he was admitted, while an allowance 
of three more for contingent expenses on his trip, 
would still leave him five dollars and his profession 
and the happiest man on earth. Five dollars and a 
good profession ! He almost exclaimed aloud, as he 



348 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

looked up to see Tom Swave approaching with two 
gentlemen by his side. One was Sam. Blair, the old 
engineer ; and the other was little Jake Hoover, as 
they called him, in the years gone by. Jake was one 
of Walter's and Tom's more intimate chums when 
they were boj's, and he had not seen him since 1861, 
when he first enlisted ; he was delighted to see him. 

Jake had enlisted, it will be remembered, the next 
summer, with Tom, while Walter was out, had gone 
through the whole service with the One Hundred and 
Seventeenth, with no greater misfortune than the loss 
of his great toe, and been discharged at the close of the 
war while Walter was at college ; then, having tarried 
a short time in Shocktown, had gone West, where he 
now had a position as .second freight dispatcher on 
one of the trunk lines west of the Mississippi. 

Sam. Blair, who it appeared was his uncle, had now 
slipped ofiF with him while Jake paid a short visit to 
his home. 

They gave such favorable accounts of the openings 
of the great country beyond the Mississippi and the 
Missouri, that Walter began to think about it, but the 
thought of his fiv^e dollars onh' in connection with his 
profession made him think still more. 

But by reason of that singular law which often gives 
several people the same notion, they were joined by 
several more of Walter's old schoolmates, both of those 
who had been, and those who had not been in the 
armj^ whose evening strolls had led them towards the 
Grahams ; and the subject of the West was soon sup- 
planted by the great question of reconstruction. 

Jake Boyle said he had enlisted for the Union, and 
fought for it, and was willing to save it even if it had 



I 



I 



RETROSPECT. 349 

to abolish slavery in the states, which he was per- 
fectly frank to say now he was glad had been done, 
but he could not see that there was any necessity for 
negro suffrage in this country as yet. 

Sam. Blair and Jake Hoover, who were both Repub- 
licans now, said they did not exactly understand all 
that was meant by the war when they first enlisted, 
but still Jake said he had come to the conclusion that 
he was ready for negro suffrage, since he saw how those 
old ex-rebels talked out in Missouri. 

" Well, I am free to say that I didn't understand it 
all when I enlisted," said Sam. Long; "but I cared 
nothing for that. I would have suppressed the rebel- 
lion let it cost what it would ; but I don't know that I 
would have voted for Lincoln, even the second time, if 
I had thought the Republican party meant to let the 
niggers vote. I don't exactly believe it will carry 
3'et." 

"Well, sir," when I turned Republican," said Jack 
Matson, " I meant to go the whole length ; if there is 
no other loyal element in the South to reconstruct on, , 
I say let us take the niggers." 

Mart. Bernard and Wilse Long, neither of whom had 
been engaged in the service, each said, "they didn't 
suppose anybody exactly foresaw all the results of the 
war when it commenced, and that they must say that 
if it had been known that it was the intention of the 
Republican party, or generally believed even now that 
it was the intention of that party, to adopt negro suf- 
frage, they would never elect another President." 

"Well, don't you know what Wendell Phillips says 
about that ?" said Tom Swave. "He says, 'When I 



350 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

see a man halfway down Niagara Falls, I don't ask 
hira his intentions.' " 

" Yes, and besides, don't you be too sure that Ben. 
Wade and Thad. Stevens, and those men did not fore- 
see negro suffrage all the time and mean it, too," 
said George Miller. 

"Why, certainly," said Walter, "and I tell you 
I am in favor of it, squarely, and it will come to that 
just as surely as revolutions never go backward. Of 
course old Stevens understood it all the time ; why, he 
never minced words about it ; he commenced advocating 
it to his constituents before the war was over. No, 
he had no other thought than negro suflfrage in his 
head when he had that special reconstruction commit- 
tee of fifteen formed with plenary powers." 

"Oh! we all knew^ you would be in favor of it, 
Walt.," said Jake Boyle, "and I think you are entirely 
right ; Old Stevens and the other radicals meant it from 
the start, and that w'as what he was after when he had 
his committee of fifteen created, with despotic powers, 
and himself at the head of it ; that is the kind of a 
committee it is, or rather when he had himself made 
despot for a while ; and I am only afraid you are right 
in thinking it's going to pass. The only hope I see, 
is that maybe old Stevens will die ; he was nearly 
dead last month, when Jack and I were at Washing- 
ton ; there were four big niggers carrying him up the 
steps to the Capitol; then he couldn't walk." 

"Well, ' four big niggers' had need to convey him 
up the steps," replied Walter, "besides that very fact 
in itself was the strongest speech he can make in ad- 
vocacy of it. It's like poor Caesar's wounds — it's 
dumb eloquence. No, sir, I am in favor of forgiving 



RETROSPECT. 351 

the South, but I am on Greeley's platform — 'universal 
amnesty, impartial suffrage.' " 

" Oh, well, if the niggers had a vote they would all 
vote the Democratic ticket," said Bob lyong, "it 
wouldn't benefit us any." 

" No, nor I don't believe that," said Walter. "Oh, 
well, who lives the longest will see the most," said 
Tom Swave. 

"Where did Dave Miller go?" said Jack Matson, 
" I thought he was here with us." 

"I guess he went on to a more attractive place," 
said Tom. 

The boys smiled modestly, while Jake Hoover asked 
seriously, " Where did he go ? I wanted to see him." 

" Oh, I expect you could find him up at our, house, " 
said Walter, with a slight smile. ' ' There he goes 
now," said Bob, "he and Mary, walking out in the 
orchard. Wait till I fire this green apple up among 
the trees ; it will kind of surprise them." 

"Oh, yes, I heard something of that," said Jake 
Hoover. "How is it, Walt., are she and Dave going 
to be married ?" 

" Oh, I wouldn't wonder," said Walter; "you had 
better ask them, I expect. They can answer best." 

" Well, Mary seems to be very frank about it," said 
Mart. Bernard ; " she said it at our place the other day 
she expected to be mairied this fall." 

"Shows she is a sensible girl," said Sam. Blair, 
"Why, certainly," said Jack, "you just tell her, 
Walt.; and you can tell Dave, George, that if they 
don't invite all the old Shocktown veterans to their 
wedding we will serenade them." 



352 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I have nothing to do with it ; they can arrange for 
themselves," said WaUer. 

"If we had Wagner and Flora and Pat. here now 
we would have about all the Shocktown veterans, 
would we not ? ' ' said Wilse Long. 

"Where is Pat. keeping himself".? said Jake 
Hoover, "I haven't seen him yet." 

" I guess he is out electioneering for his office," said 
Tom. 

Pat., by the way, it must be understood, had escaped 
uninjured through all his long service up until the 
battle of Five Forks, when he lost his right arm 
above the elbow, and the index finger of his left 
hand, both at one shot. This phenomenon was ex- 
plained by the fact that he was shot while in the act 
of firing, as his left hand was raised supporting his 
musket, the ball struck the finger on the left hand, 
passed on and took his right arm off about half way 
between the elbow and .shoulder. That he was in a 
very helpless condition with no means of support, with 
aged parents unable to help him, was beyond question, 
and elicited considerable sympathy for him in the 
neighborhood. 

This conversation awakened the further fact that old 
Mr. Williamson had said to him only the week before, 
over at Swave's store, in all seriousness, that he should 
come out for a county office this fall : Register of 
Wills, he told him. 

The subject was new to most of the boys, includ- 
ing Walter. It was discussed by them in its various 
phases ; Tom telling them further that Mr. Wilhamson 
said his qualifications were as good as those of the aver- 
age man that was elected to those positions ; that they 



' RETROSPECT. 353 

were men with only common school education, which 
he possessed. 

" I do not know how tar that sentiment could be 
depended upon in the county. Of course, I would be 
very glad to see Pat. benefitted in some way," said 
Walter. 

Mart. Bernard said, "Pat.'s case is a pretty hard 
one, and I understand Williamson said that every 
country yet had paid homage to her wounded soldiery, 
and that if that sentiment was rightly managed in this 
case he looked upon Pat.'s candidacy as feasible, but, 
somehow, I am not so sure of it. And then another 
thing, — how about 'Squire Bowers ? He is a candidate 
for the State Senate this fall, and will want the dele- 
gates from the township. It will not do to have two 
candidates from this township at the same time ; so 
you see there is a difficulty right at the start," 

" Well, I thought the government did claim to pro- 
vide for a man in Pat.'s condition. Don't he get a 
pension ? ' ' asked Wilse I,ong. 

"Yes, he gets a pension," said Jake Boyle. " But 
that is not looked upon in the light of any favor on the 
part of the government ; that is a debt in his case. So 
far as the feeling of gratitude is concerned on the part 
of the people, I think old man Williamson is entirely 
right ; these men are always supposed to have the 
preference. I think you Republicans who claim to be 
so patriotic owe it to yourselves to push Pat.'s claims, 
since he professes to be a Republican now, I believe." 

The conversation here drifted off on the subject of 
pensions, in which it was incidentally developed that 
Tom Swave had never been receiving any ; to which 
Jake Hoover exclaimed, " Well, why don't you apply 



354 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

for one ? I supposed, of course, you had been getting a 
pension all this time." 

Tom replied, "Somehow, I never liked the idea of 
asking for it. In fact, I have not thought much about 
it." 

" And then, another thing," he continued, " I don't 
know but you may even carry that sentiment too far ; 
already you hear a lot of these substitutes and big 
bounty fellows that enlisted just at the last, and who 
imagine thty have some rheiunatism or headache they 
contracted in the army, talking more about pensions 
than anybody else." 

Thus this little band of veterans, all of whom had 
enlisted in the early stages of the war, and all of 
whom held honorable discharges, and most of whom 
had scars upon their bodies, discussed that evening the 
propriety of pensions, and of Pat. McKnight's candi- 
dacy for a county office ; reaching practically this con- 
clusion, that a man as badly disabled as Tom Swave 
might ask the government for a pension without low- 
ering his self-respect, and that if a grateful people 
wished to elect a man in Pat. McKnight's condition 
to a lucrative office, it certainly did not behoove them 
to throw cold water on it. 

Of course, as they hadnot been able to foresee all the 
results of the war at first, so they had not powers of pen- 
etration that evening to see that twenty-five years later 
both sentiments would be stronger than ever ; that the 
most difficult man to defeat for a public office, on general 
principles, would be a disabled soldier ; that an annual 
appropriation of ^150,000,000 would be required to pay 
our pensions. Neither did they see that grave philoso- 
phers, wise statesmen and astute politicians, would all 



RETROSPECT. 355 

be saying, "Well, what is the diiference ; both senti- 
ments are right, by nature ;" and that while shysters, 
and substitutes and big bounty men who enlisted 
at the last, were the most clamorous for pensions, it 
would be said for even them, "You must remember 
they enlisted at a period when all men understood the 
war meant danger, and that the capitalists and mil- 
lionaires of the country were quite glad to have them 
go at any price ; and, therefore, what is the use in a 
government of sixty-five niillions of people to haggle 
about paying $150,000,000 a year to the men who saved 
it, when the same country, with not half the population 
nor half the wealth, was paying $3,000,000 per day, 
before the war was over, to suppress the rebellion ?" 

Thus this little band dispersed that evening. 

As Walter wended his way to the house he thought 
of the subjects they had discussed and the conclusions 
that had been reached at that informal meeting. He 
recapitulated substantially as follows: " Dav^e and 
Mary are to be married this fall ; his old comrades 
would like to attend the wedding ; Pat. McKnight is to 
have a county office, and Tom Swave a pension." 

But the thought that still filled his mind with greatest 
satisfaction was, that he had five dollars and a good 
profession. 



ft 



CHAPTER XX 



irA/T/XG FOR CLIENTS. 



A S Walter walked through the principal streets of 
-^^ Sharwood the next morning after his admission 
to the bar, looking in at the business fronts, he won- 
dered if these firms were ever involved in litigation, and 
if so, could he ever expect to represent them in any 
material matter ? In short, how was he to get clients, 
was already engaging his attention. He had always 
understood, of course, that he had to commence in the 
Quarter Sessions, on cases which afforded no very as- 
tounding fees, and there do something that would 
arrest the attention of the crowd, either by his aptness 
in knowledge of the law or by forensic eloquence. He 
was wise enough now to know that the great world 
around him, including Sharwood, with her five and 
twenty thousand inhabitants, and Jefferson county with 
her hundred thousand, knew very little about him and 
cared still less. Knowledge of this fact helped him 
wonderfully in this, his fresh start in life. It was a 
capital that would serve him long after his five dollars 
were exhausted, and the three hundred more which he 
was obliged to borrow, before he was self-sustaining. 
Though his ambition was none the less fervid, his en- 
thusiasm none the less sanguine, than the night on 
which he addressed the citizens of Shocktown on the 
political questions of the day, he felt certainly he was 
wiser. Born and raised, as he had been, in Jefferson 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 357 

county, coming as he did from a good family, having had 
had as many opportunities as most boys of his age to ex- 
tend his acquaintance, and with his old army associates 
thrown in, he could not help noticing how few people he 
recognized that morning as he walked the streets. If 
this is the case in a small county town like this, he 
thought, what must it be like in a great metropolis. 
How was he going to make his personality felt in 
Jefferson county ? How was he to reach that coveted 
top where the crowd was not ? In all his happiness, 
what a fine thing that he was made conscious of the 
insignificant space he filled in the community. It was 
not for him to be walking up the streets of Sharwood 
knowing, scarcely anj' of her citizens. It was for her 
citizens to be sajang, " there goes Graham, our distin- 
guished attorney," or "Hon. Walter Graham, our 
member of Congress." It was not for him to sit down 
and ask Jefferson county to come to him. It. was for 
him to go to work and inake Jefierson county come to 
him. He need not expect Jefferson county to come all 
dressed in her Sunday attire, begging for an introduc- 
tion. She was probably like fortune, a little stolid and 
indifferent. He would have to take her by the throat 
and introduce himself, and in such a manner as would 
impress her. If he stood now too long upon etiquette, 
or waited for all the conventionalities of polished society 
to say when, he would wait forever. He believed as 
the boj's expressed it, that he " would be left." 

Of course, he knew that to make either the public or 
Jefferson county come to him he must convince them 
that he could do something for them, show them that 
he had something to sell that they could purchase 
nowhere else for the money, and now what he wanted 



358 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

was an opportunity to exhibit his goods. In other 
words, how was he to get clients ? How was he to get 
a start even in the criminal courts ? If he could only- 
get some friendless prisoner, charged with some high 
crime that had attracted considerable public attention; 
that would be his opportunity. He would give the 
public a stunner from the start, cause a local to be in 
the papers that might catch the eye of Blanch and 
make her pause even yet before she threw away such 
a promising young attorney, penniless though he be, 
for the wealth and position of young Herr or for the 
agreeable ways and genial companionship of Tom 
Swave, or the high reputation and literary tastes of 
Dr. Sherman. As for young Flowing Mustache, from 
New York, he had no apprehensions. He felt that 
Blanch Morton never seriously entertained his atten- 
tions for a moment. Still when he thought of Blanch 
it was then that the slightest shade would come 
over his spirits. Surrounded as he saw himself by all 
these dangerous rivals for her hand, when he saw her 
friendly bearing, her kindly manner to all of these, 
a manner which he knew had no similarity to flirta- 
tion, and was only natural to the unselfish nature, he 
was at a loss to know what conclusion to reach. 

He knew he had nothing, as yet, on which to main- 
tain her, and that while he had read in books of noble 
rich girls who had married for true love poor 
3'oung men, even against the opposition of parents, 
where are the cases, he thought, exactly like this in real 
life? Then, again, he said, even if she does love me, 
(of which I am not sure,) I have no right, no moral 
right, to ask her to be mine until I can show her 
that I can make a Iving, at least for myself. Even 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 359 

if she were to accept nie, and I were to marry her 
before I had made myself self-supporting or able 
to keep her anywhere near in consonance with 
her present station and ease of life, who can say that 
she would remain happy under it forever ? Of course, 
she would suppress every emotion and try to be so for 
my sake, but would I be doing right to her to lead her 
through that path ? To sit down and live a life of ease 
and energ3^-sapping indolence off of her (even if Morton 
is as rich as some people estimate him), would be des- 
picable, not to say, immoral. To become a kind of 
tail to the firm of Morton & Co would only disgrace 
the firm and humiliate me. I would have no taste for 
that kind of life, would only chafe and fret under it 
and be in the way of some competent man. With Tom 
Swave, even, it would be different. He has a talent 
for pleasing the public, and would really be useful in 
such a capacity. No, I love Blanch Morton too truly 
to ask her to make any such sacrifice for me. True, 
I know, sentiment and the novels say engage yourself 
to her now, and she will cheerfully wait until you make 
your reputation at the bar. Yes, and so thought I, 
when I was a boy of eighteen, but I am a man now of 
twenty-four, and supposed to have a man's judgment, 
yes, a man's resolution and fortitude ; therefore, if it 
is not for me to ever call Blanch my own, I must try 
and bear it. It is only in books that we read of hearts 
fading away and going to premature graves under such 
disappointments. 

It is not for men in real life to be crushed by such a 
defeat. I can go on through life without her as best I 
may, loving her all the same, but hiding it securely 
from her. Yes, both she and her father have a right 



360 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to see that I make something of myself; that I do 
something worthy of such a jewel before I ask for it. 
Of course, all this must stimulate me to try the harder 
to succeed before she is irretrievably lost, for I know 
that delay is dangerous. It is not in the reason of 
things for one of her strong sympathetic nature to go 
on forever without bestowing her affections somewhere, 
especially with all the opportunities that will be con- 
stantly offering. Oh, if I were only sure, absolutely 
sure, that I would succeed in any reasonable time, how 
soon would I test the question of her affections. 
Though failure has not been a part of my programme 
in any shape or form, what if after all that unseen 
and subtle influence which sometimes sends one young 
man to distinction and another to obscurity in his pro- 
fession without any apparent cause, should be against 
me, then where would I have placed poor Blanch, 
especially if Morton should lose his fortune, 
through any unforeseen contingency, such as — as — as 
—for instance, Will, getting a little too fast. No, no, 
I must fight for a year at least, at the end of which 
time I can have seme little conception of what I may 
expect, and whether Blanch is actually engaged to any 
of her other plausible suitors. 

Oh, Walter ! you reason well, yet so poorl}' — poorly, 
because blindly— too blind to see that all through those 
weary months of suffering and untold anxiety that she, 
for whose comfort and happiness you have this day so 
devoutly prayed and who bears the hallowed and sacred 
name of mother, was not the only one who sent you a 
woman's sympathy and a woman's love through every 
pulse-beat and every moment of your pain, but who 
unlike her, was obliged to bury it all in her own 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 361 

breast, because of the conventionalities of the world 
and that, too, at a time when she felt surer of your love 
than she does this minute. Poorly have you reasoned, 
because she knew as unerringly as a woman's in- 
stinct could tell her that she had your heart at that 
time. It was too recently that you nearly frightened 
her out of her senses by your profuseness and warmth, 
which made her fear 3'ou were going to propose to her 
in the presence of her friends at an evening party, 
not to know what your feelings were toward her then. 
Your own reticent conduct toward her had not rai.sed 
doubts in her mind then as it has since. Perhaps you 
are excusable to some extent for the way your reason- 
ing misses its mark, because it was impossible for you 
to know that though her mind was not ready to give 
you an affirmative answer the night of your zeal at the 
party, there has never been a moment since she dropped 
the letter to you three years ago to-day, but that you 
had but to open your mouth and she would have been 
yours. But why were you too stupid to note, the 
day she came to see you after you came home, that she 
was straining every nerve to its utmost tension to sup- 
press her emotions ; that she was evidently afraid to 
trust herself, while you, by your own embarrassment, 
made the visit heavy and formal. • How erroneously 
you have reasoned, (though nobl}^ it is true), in not 
wishing to bind her down under circumstances for 
which she might suffer mental reservation. She 
should be the judge of that herself; she would prefer 
to go along with you through all the journey of 
life, without the slightest regard for any advensit}' that 
could come to either you or her father, if you would 
but treat her kindly. What a great satisfaction it would 
16 



302 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

be to her to know your mind, that she might wait 
cheerfully. She regards you as having already done 
those things which make you worthy of the love of 
any girl on earth ; she thinks it is judges and jurists 
that should stand and uncover before you, as you 
enter their presence, not you before them ; she would 
love to share your toils and support you with her 
sympathy, as you strive on to achieve that success 
which you so modestly think you have to win before 
you are deserving. 

There is one truth you did utter, however, Walter, 
in your mental soliloquy that morning, namely, 
" Delay is dangerous. It is not in the reason of things, 
for one of her sympathetic nature, to go on forever 
without bestowing her affections somewhere. ' ' Beware, 
oh, Walter, lest amid your philosophizing you lose 
forever what flaming youth has won for you long ago ! 
Remember the over-ripe fruit which hangs ungathered 
by its rightful owner always invites the hands of 
strangers. But his cogitations could not last forever ; 
for now as he had already walked three squares to his 
left and four to his right, well nigh to the outskirts of 
the city, they were broken by a voice on the opposite 
side of the street, which exclaimed, " Halloa, Graham, 
is that you ? ' ' 

"Halloa, to you," responded Walter, as he crossed 
over to the gentleman who had saluted him, "why 
this is not Dan Potts, is it ? Our old commissary ser- 
geant ? " 

"That's who it is, if you look right." 

"Well, I do say! How are a'ou coming on, any- 
how ? ' ' replied Walter. 

' ' O, first-rate, ' ' said Potts. ' ' I am living here in 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 363 

town now ; I am clerk at the prison. I heard that you 
were reading law, about ready to be admitted. Well, 
in fact, I saw you the other evening walking up the 
street. You were past a considerable distance, when 
Sam. Lukens said to me, 'Do you know that young 
man there, going along by the hotel ? ' I said, ' No, I 
can't see his face rightly.' Then he told me it was 
you, and all about you. In fact, I had heard about what 
became of you, after I was discharged. I don't think 
I ever saw you after the battle of Missionary Ridge. 
lyCt me see, you • were badly wounded after that, 
believe. I saw old Colonel Dodge the other day. He 
told me that Captain Painter, of Company A, was get- 
ting up a correct history of our old regiment. He 
seemed to know all about you, and everybody else. 
Well, how are you coming on, anyhow ! Are you 
almost ready to be admitted to practice ? ' ' 

Walter smiling on his old comrade with all the cordi- 
ality that he could have desired, answered his ques- 
tions cheerfully, saying, " Oh, I am getting along first- 
rate too ; I was admitted to the bar this morning. 
Just waiting for clients now." 

"Is that so," replied his friend; "allow me to 
shake," taking Walter by the hand. "Let us walk 
back toward the hotel. There may be some of our old 
fellows down from Campton to-day ; they often come 
in on Monday." "Yes, if I remember rightly, that 
was your old section, Campton," replied Walter. 

" Yes, sir, that is my old home." 

' ' You and I are from pretty nearly opposite extremes 
of the county then," replied Walter. 

"Yes, I guess so," replied Potts; "you were from 
out about Shocktown, were you not ? Do you know I 



364 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

had the address at one time of pretty nearly every 
fellow in our compan}-. Oh, by the way, do you know 
that just makes me think of something. I know 
where you can get a client right away. There is a 
darkey from out in your section, by the name of 
Maybourn, in jail now. He has no attorney. He 
was only brought in last week for stealing a coat, I 
think. There was a man in from that section to see 
him this morning, by the name of Wood ; one of your 
solid men out there, is'nt he? " 

* ' I know an old colored man b}- the name of May- 
bourn," replied Walter, " over in Hampton township. 
He owns a little property, and so does his son Joe, 
the fiddler. But that is three or four miles from our 
place, and I have always understood they were very 
worthy people. I do not know why it should be any 
of that family. But that is where Daniel Wood comes 
from. He is a very solid man, as you say." "Well, 
sir, that is the family anyhow; that's it, sir," replied 
Potts. " He told me about his grandfather owning a 
property, and his uncle, too, the fiddler. Yes, he said 
the old man raised him ; that he had money and 
would give a nice fee to a lawyer. You come out 
after dinner and I will get you that case " 

Walter replied that he did not know exactly what 
to sa}- about it. He was anxious to get a start, that 
was certain, but he had always understood it was not 
professional to solicit business. 

" Well, that is all right," replied his friend ; "Ain't 
I getting }'ou into this job, and besides don't I see 
other young lawyers out there drumming up clients, 
having the underkeepers working for them, and every- 
thing else? " 



WAITING FOR CI.IENTS. 365 

" Well, I am much obliged to you," replied Walter. 
"I will think about it, and likely I will come out to 
the jail after dinner." 

After Walter had parted with his friend, he walked 
rapidly ..to the office of his preceptor, where he found 
the old judge buried among a lot of books and making 
some annotations occasionally on a sheet of legal cap. 
As he approached, smiling, the old judge, without rais- 
ing his head, but merely turning his eye, spoke first, 
saying blandly, " Well, how does it go being a lawyer 
by this time ? ' ' 

"Oh ! grand, grand," replied Walter, who then related 
the whole circumstance of his prospective client to the 
judge and asked him if it would be right for him to go 
to the jail to secure him under such circumstances. 

The judge replied, "Yes, 3'ou are not supposed to 
run along the corridor from cell to cell hunting up 
clients. But, if your friend introduces you to this 
man, and he has no other attorney, and suggests no 
other one, it is perfectly proper for you to undertake 
his case." 

Walter's mind was greatly relieved by the judge's 
remarks, and accordingly after dinner he moved with 
alacrity towards the jail. He had never been inside 
of one before. As the great iron gates opened to 
receive him, and he was introduced to the jailer by his 
friend in his official capacity, as he moved along the 
corridor, looking through the bars and peep holes 
of the cells at the prisoners behind them, a strange 
sensation came over him. He thought, " What a dis- 
mal place this would be to have to spend one's time. 
Verily 'the way of the transgressor is hard,' and yet, 
just think of it, innocent men have had to undergo 



366 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

this. What chance would they ever have for escape 
from behind such bars and bolts ! " For a moment he 
almost forgot the capacity in which he was there him- 
self, though perhaps he never felt the power and 
importance of his office as attorney more than when 
the keeper finally stopped before one of the cells and, 
rattling his great bunch of keys, proceeded to unlock 
one of the heavy iron doors, saying, "Can you talk 
to him all you want through the hole, or shall I let 
5'ou inside? Halloa! Maybourn, here is a lawyer for 
you. lyCt me see, your name is Graham, I believe," 
turning again to Walter, as he introduced him to the 
prisoner. 

The prisoner advanced toward the door, sticking his 
head pretty well through the aperture which it about 
filled, and said, "Sir, you are young Graham, ain't 
you ? Mr. Potts told me about you. Yes, I would like 
to have a little private conversation with you." 

Walter said, "Yes, my name is Graham," and then 
stepping up a little, more confused than the prisoner, 
and looking around at the keeper, who had stepped a 
few paces to one side, dangling his keys, and who replied 
to his unuttered inquiry, "Well, here, I guess I had 
better let you inside. Now, you can go in and talk to 
him all you wish," opening the inside door. 

Walter walked into the cell, heard the great spring 
lock click shut behind him, and the keeper's words : 
"When you are ready to come out, just tap on the 
bars here with your knife. ".' He then listened to his re- 
ceding footsteps dying awa}^ in the distance, and again 
a peculiar sensation came over him, not one in any way 
connected with fear, but, somehow, such a queer feel- 
ing, and he remarked to his client, " Well, now, I sup- 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. -367 

pose, I am about as thoroughly caged as you." " Yes," 
said the prisoner, " with a great difference between us, 
however. The tap of a pen-knife lets you out, but God 
knows what kind of taps it will take to let me see the 
sunlight." 

At this remark Walter looked into the eyes of his 
first client, for a second survey of him, and thought, 
" Halloa ! you are a man of considerable intelligence. 
I doubt if you are here through your own stupidity, at 
least." 

The pri.soner then went on to tell him how it was that 
he was suspected of stealing this coat, giving a very 
plausible story of how it happened one night, as he 
went across the river with some friends, at Swinton. 

He pretested his innocence, told Walter what could 
be proven by different witnesses, and that it was true 
he was a grandson of the very respectable old colored 
man, whom he knew, and a nephew of Joe Maybourn ; 
that they would take great interest in his case ; that he 
should go to the old man and he would give him five 
dollars as a retainer, and that he should have fifteen 
more if he succeeded in clearing him. 

Walter noted down carefully the strong points in 
his stor}', tapped in due time with his knife on the 
bars, heard the advancing footsteps of the keeper, 
bade his client goodbye, walked out of the cell as the 
door opened, and a moment later was out on the street, 
in the highest state of ecstasy, "What great good 
luck is this that has come to me so soon," he thought. 
He could get that fellow off, beyond a doubt. True, 
he remembered, that while the old judge had told 
him it was perfectly proper to go to see this man, that 
he should not put too much confidence in his story ; 



368 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

but the judge knew nothing about the merits of this 
case. Look what a respectable family he comes from, 
how I can prove good character in addition to the other 
strong points of his case, and then just think of the 
financial feature of the case, a five dollar retainer, cer- 
tain, and fifteen more if I clear him ; they are as good 
as certain, too. This looks as though I would be self- 
sustaining from the start. Father will be agreeably 
surprised, won't he ? Yes, I will see old man May- 
bourn early in the morning, get my five dollars retainer, 
and have him help me work up the case. 

Thus ran Walter's second mental soliloquy, as he 
took another long walk around the town, stopping to 
see the old judge long enough to tell him his hopeful 
story, to which he smiled pleasantly and said, inter alia, 
"You have not examined these witnesses as yet ; I sup- 
pose you do not know of your owni knowledge that 
they will testify exactly as he says." 

" No, no, I have not," replied Walter ; " but then I 
have not much doubt in the ca.se, in fact, if half he 
says is true he has a strong defence." And thus he 
started off" for another w^alk which took him in the 
direction of the depot, when he was seized by another 
happy thought, namely, that he was just in time to 
take the three o'clock train for Mansdale, which would 
give him two hours at Morton's, before the next train 
for Shocktown arrived. To this impulse you know, 
of course, he yielded. 

He had not been at Morton's for some time. His 
greeting was cordial, almost warm. Cousin Ida re- 
ceived him with such a hospitable smile and pleas- 
ant, — "Why, Walter Graham, is this you? We had 
almost forgotten what you looked like." Aunt Mary 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 369 

seemed as young and vivacious as one of thirty- 
five. Blanch came tripping in from the dining-room 
with searching gaze and benignant smile, as she said, 
" Well, is this our young lawyer come to present him- 
self at last? You are a lawyer now, are'nt you, 
Walter? " she continued, still holding his hand. " We 
heard you were to be admitted to-day." 

"Yes, yes," was his cheerful reply, with a dozen 
other matters thrown in, as they all ensconced them- 
selves in rocking chairs on the old front porch looking 
out over the great green world. How unfeigned their 
congratulations seemed to be ; how he told them of his 
experiences with his client. Aunt Mary said, "So 
you are just out of jail, are you ? " Ida said, "Well, 
is not that highl}^ encouraging for the time you have 
been admitted to the bar?" Blanch said, with her 
inimitable latent humor and kindness, "Indeed, has 
not your career as a lawyer thus far been a phenomenal 
success ? ' ' 

"I am inclined to think it has," replied Walter. 
" Of course, one can judge better after the trial of my 
first client. But indeed, I am sure it will be a success, 
when I reflect that I am certain to do better with him 
than my distinguished preceptor, Judge lyatham, did 
with his first client. His first client, he tells me, was 
hung, and his second one went to jail for life. Now 
the worst that can come to mine will be imprisonment 
for a few 3'ears. ' ' 

"And I see now, myself, that you are destined to be 
a distinguished lawyer, by the way your wit sparkles 
and your humor flashes out," replied Blanch. "It is 
almost equal to Ida's." 



370 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Or to her own, she should say," exclaimed Ida. 

" Or to Aunt Mary's," said Blanch. 

"Yes, indeed," said Walter, "among such a bril- 
liant company it would be hard to say whose wit did 
excel." 

"Just so," replied Blanch, "I believe the easiest 
thing we could do would be to turn this into a mutual 
admiration societ}-." 

And a mutual admiration society it certainly was, 
Walter and Blanch both struggling to hold it within 
those bounds, Walter, if anything, a little harder of 
the two. The time flew pleasantly and he was so at 
ease in Blanch's presence. There was no doubting the 
sincerit}' of her friendship ; rather now to keep it from 
ripening into something stronger, before he was able 
to protect her, was the great struggle of will against 
inclination. And yet, what a perceptible change came 
over him in that respect when she told him she was 
talking of going to Europe this summer, to start in 
two -weeks. 

He made haste to say, with an effort which he knew 
she observed, " Why. that will be nice, I am sure. It 
is now my turn to congratulate you. Who is going 
with you, and what is your route ? " 

" O, I don't know for certain that I will go yet. It 
is one of those one hundred day excursions that take 
their professional guide and instructor with them. 
Ida and I are invited along. The company will be 
composed of a dozen or twenty. Several of our old 
Vassar schoolmates talk of going ; Professor Light- 
ner, Dr. Sherman and others ; I cannot recall them all 
just now." 

" Then j-ou are going, too, Ida ? "asked Walter. 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 371 

" No, I do not think I need be counted in the num- 
ber," rephed Ida. "The capacity of my purse will 
hardly warrant it." 

" Don't you think she ought to waive that objection 
if a friend offers to pa}' her bills for her ? " said Blanch, 
" and especially if I want her to accompany me." 

" I think if you wish her to go with you, she ought 
to give the matter great consideration." 

"It is very kind of you all, I am sure," said Ida, 
"but I should feel all the time as if I were imposing 
on good nature, and further, that it would not be 
right for us both to go and leave mother. I suppose 
you could guess within two guesses who the good 
friend is who offers to pa}- all bills, and I am sure I 
appreciate it, but I do not feel that I ought to go as 
yet." 

Blanch blushed a little at the suggestion of who the 
good friend might be, and said, " Ida cannot leave her 
mother that long, and father cannot spare me that 
long, so I reckon neither of us will go. We will have 
to send Aunt Mary, I guess. You will have to decide 
for us, Walter. What shall we do ? " 

" O, I suggest that you all go," said Walter, at 
which their conversation ran into a general colloquy 
about the trip in detail, the pleasures to be derived 
from it, the scenery and historic interest of Europe as 
compared with America, all of which it is useless to 
give. Nor is it necessary to dwell on the considerate 
attention bestowed upon Walter by Will, and Mr. 
Morton at the supper hour ; how he was about to leave 
abruptl}' to take his train when Mr. Morton insisted 
that he should stay and take tea with them, saying, 
"There will be ways to get home; I will go your 



372 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 



security for that. Will, will want a drive this evening 
He did stay and enjoy the meal with the family; 
and, after supper, Will, declared to the girls that he 
had an imperative engagement elsewhere that evening 
and that they would have to take Walter home. 
The girls said, " That is right. We were just wanting 
a ride at any rate ; ' ' and they started with Abe and the 
carriage about sundown to give Walter a lift on his 
waj'. They all enjoyed that drive. They talked so 
confidingly and easily to each other ; and Walter told 
them all about Mary's going to be married ; that she 
was marrying a worthy, intelligent, honest man, a 
good mechanic with a good business ; that he was 
building a pretty little cottage for themselves this sum- 
mer. Blanch told him she thought it was very nice, 
and he must be sure to give Mary her congratulations ; 
Ida adding, "And please don't forget mine." They 
never stopped until they had crossed the bridge over 
Silver creek and halted in the little grove within 
a-half mile of his home ; then Blanch, as if loth to 
end their sociable, said, "Well now, come Walter, 
you did not tell us seriously ; shall I go on and take 
this trip to Europe ? " 

Walter, guiding Abe up to a tree at the side of 
the road where he could ru1) his nose in a friendly 
manner against its trunk, turned himself in a reclining 
position on the front seat, toward the girls, and said, 
" Yes, Blanch, it is right for you to go to Europe and 
have all the pleasure out of it in a legitimate way 
(we know you will seek no other) that is possible, 
without any feeling or mental reservation that you 
are bound to deny yourself such pleasures, simply 
because all of your friends are not so favorabl}^ situated 



^ 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 373 

as yourself. Kindness and consideration for those not 
as fortunate as ourselves are always virtues, Christian 
duties of which we all know you do not need to be 
admonished. But those poor who are jealous of the 
rich, and rail at them simply because they are rich, 
would make tyrants themselves if they were in affluent 
circumstances. They are not themselves always the 
best element of our citizenship. They are frequently 
secretly ashamed of their own occupations and too lazy 
to work. Whereas, there is no honorable occupation in 
this country to-da}-, however humble, that can disgrace, 
any honest man or woman. All that society needs, 
all that true equality requires, is that they have the 
same unrestricted chance to rise from the bottom to 
the top, provided they have the merit to pass from 
the vocation of rail-splitting to that of governing a 
nation, if the quality is there. But what I might sug- 
gest, on the other hand, is this. There is coming to be too 
much of a tendency on the part of our many wealthy 
Americans, especially the women, those who term 
themselves society women, to hob nob to English aris- 
tocracy — silly girls who will trade their fortunes for a 
barren title, an old played-out nobleman who marries 
them for the sake of having his debts paid and being 
supported in his licentious extravagance ; marriages of 
barter entirely. Such American girls deserve the fate 
that usually follows such marriages ; and, besides, it is 
all un-American, unpatriotic. Our fathers founded a 
government on this continent, where all classification of 
society was abolished, all titles of nobility prohibited, 
where merit alone should be a man's title to distinc- 
tion. No, I am an American, and while it is right 



k 



374 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

for you to go to Europe and learn all you can, I know, 
Blanch, you will come back an American girl." 

Blanch replied, " Walter, your views are so entirely 
my own, that I need say nothing but Amen. But, do 
you not think it is possible for even Americans to be 
too strong sometimes in their prejudices ; that, perhaps, 
we sometimes judge our English cousins too severely; 
that it would be even possible for such a thing as a true 
marriage to sometimes occur between an American 
girl and an English nobleman ? Not that I have any 
prospect of becoming a baroness, or anything of 
that kind," she said, smiling, "but, sometimes the 
English criticise us even in a friendly spirit, that we 
really forget good maimers in our insatiable appetite 
for wealth and scramble for power. In other words, as 
you have already said, we should go to those places to 
learn. England is a government that can boast that 
while she is an aristocracy, she never tolerated chattel 
slavery as we did in our boasted republic. England, on 
the other hand, claims that she taught the world what 
constitutional liberty was." 

"Yes, and without a written constitution at that," 
replied Walter. " In fact, Blanch. I agree to everything 
you have said. We should always endeavor to con- 
quer our prejudices, to keep an open mind at all times 
for the truth and have the courage to speak it when we 
S2e it. I agree further, that the civilization of England 
has done more for mankind than any other in the his- 
tory of the world, but it is not the American branch 
of it only that has been rapacious, greedy for wealth. 
The mother country has been a pirate from her in- 
fancy. She always wants to own everything newly 
discovered. True, she has grown up to constitutional 



WAITING FOR CI.IENTS. 375 

liberty through centuries of experience ; indeed she is a 
republic to-day in almost ever3'thing but name. She 
may cling to her old prejudices for a century longer, 
and then yield, as she always has been doing, in slow 
gradation to the march of events. But ours is the first 
great government that laid down a written constitution 
on the broad principle that we were willing to trust the 
people with their own government. Therefore, with 
all our inconsistencies, notwithstanding the brazen lie 
we were living to the world, I think, on the whole, we 
were started on the best foundation, and have been left 
to work out our own purification through the ages as 
England has done. I think sometimes that idea was 
never better expressed than b}^ our worth}^ Confederate 
opponent, A. H. Stephens, when he asked the as.sembled 
delegates of the Georgia convention (this, remember, 
was while he was still protesting against secession), 
' Where will 3'ou go, following the sun in her circuit 
around the globe, to find a government that better pro- 
tects the liberties of her people than ours ?' Mr. Toombs, 
interrupting him, cried out, 'England's.' Stephens, 
continuing, said, ' England's is the next best, I admit, 
but ours is better than theirs. Statesmen tried ap- 
prentice hands on the government of England. Then 
ours was made. Ours sprang from theirs, adopting the 
most of its good, rejecting the most of its bad, and on 
the whole, building up and constructing this mighty 
republic of ours, the best which the sun of heaven ever 
shone upon.' " 

"A. H. Stephens, of Georgia, is a remarkable man," 
said Ida. " What a great pity he had not strength to 
stand by his convictions. " " Yes, but it had to be 
otherwise, ' ' said Walter ; "no helping it. ' ' 



376 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I think those words are beautiful," said Blanch. 
" Repeat them again, please, from where Toombs inter- 
rupted him." 

Walter repeated them for the girls, Ida remarking, 
" I suppose that does about express the idea we enter- 
tain in reference to England and ourselves. But, my, 
did we not have to be scourged ourselves before we 
were willing to step up to that higher plane to which 
God commanded us ? " 

"Yes, indeed," said Walter. "We talk sometimes 
as if the South alone had been responsible for slavery. 
If we had not all been responsible as a nation, why 
were we all punished ?" 

"Yes, we all had to see this fiery gospel written in 
burnished rows of steel," said Blanch. "Sa3^ do you 
know, Walter," she continued, " that father is in favor 
of negro suffrage ?" ' 

" I hoped so," replied Walter, " and am glad to hear 
it. In fact, I knew Will, was." 

"Yes, and I knew you would be, without hearing 
you speak on the subject ; and I am not so much sur- 
prised at Will, even ; but, indeed, it amuses me some- 
times how ultra father has become in his views. He 
used to be such a conservative man about such things." 

" It amuses you, but does not grieve 3'ou, does it?" 
said Walter. 

" No, it does not grieve me," said Blanch, shaking 
her head and smiling ; ' ' that is what you want to 
hear rae say, is it not ? Give the poor darkeys a vote. 
If they helped to put down the rebellion, let them have 
a vote. Ida thinks the same." 

"So it appears this compan}- is remarkably in unison 
on all questions," said Ida. 



WAITING FOR CI.IENTS. 877 

' ' Especially on the one, that our country is the best 
one for man to live in," said Walter. 
Blanch here started off in a low chant : 
" Our countr}', 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, ' ' 

In which Ida joined, as they raised it to a higher key, 
and sang it all through, while Walter listened. At the 
close Blanch said, cheerily, " Well, now turn us around 
and let us be off. It is time we were going home ; " to 
which Walter replied, in the same cheerful voice, 
"Yes, well, now I will have to go back with you to 
see that you girls get safely home. You will be afraid 
to drive after night." 

" Oh, mercy ; we drive Abe everywhere. He would 
not know how to do anything naught}', if he were to 
try. Give me the lines and I will show you how Abra- 
ham and I can manage things." Walter turned them 
around, bade them good-night, Blanch's last words 
being, "Be sure to write to me, now; let me know how 
you made out with your client, and I will try and come 
back an American girl." 

Walter walked home, under the shadows of the 
trees, listening to the chirping of the katydids, and 
the song of the tree frogs, but saying to himself, 
"She is going to Europe with Dr. Sherman." He 
arrived at home, where he found his father sitting in the 
room reading the paper, by the open door of the new 
end that had been built to the house, the rest of the 
family sitting out on the porch, listening to the hum 
of the insects, and enjoying the evening zephyrs that 
stirred the leaves of the old trees about the house. 
He felt that a stranger would have to admit that the 



378 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

scene looked quite as congenial and homelike as it did 
at Morton's. 

He related all his experiences of the day to the fam- 
ilj' and said to his mother the last thing before retir- 
ing, "Can I have an early breakfast in the morning, 
mother? I want to go over to old Maybourn's before 
he gets away." His father told him to take lyUcy and 
drive over in the buggy. He said. " No, father, I will 
start early in the morning and walk."' He felt as 
though he would appreciate the money better if he 
walked. By half past six the next morning, he was at 
the old man's house. He saw him across the road at the 
barn, turning out the cow and watering his horse. As 
he approached him at the bars that led into his lot, he 
addres.sed him with a polite, "Good morning, Mr. 
May bourn ; it is a lovely morning." 

"Good mornin', Mr. Graham," replied the old man. 
" Yes, nice mornin', I was jest goin' out to dress my 
cane up a little." 

"Yes, sir, that is right, therefore I will not detain 
you but a minute. I was at Sharwood yesterday, and 
I learned some unfortunate news about your grandson, 
Pete. Perhaps I should have explained first that I 
am an attorney now, a law3'er, and am — an — " 

"Yes, I heard you had some notion of going into 
dat business." 

" Well, what I was going to say, was in reference to 
this little misfortune to your grandson (which I sup- 
pose you, of course, know all about). I was out at the 
jail yesterday to see him. He \vas simpl}' charged 
with stealing a coat under circumstances for which he 
should not even have been arrested, and he requested 



WAITING FOR CLIENTS. 379 

me to come to see you and make some arrangements 
about his defense. ' ' 

Whereupon old Moses May bourn, whom Walter had 
correctl}^ reported as a very worthy old colored man, 
who owned his home, but who was bent considerably 
under his eighty winters, lowered the bar upon which 
he had been resting, straightened himself up as best 
he could, with his old stove-pipe hat set back upon 
his head at an angle of about forty-five degrees, looked 
him full in the face, and with that comical expression, 
so peculiar to his race, said, " Ah ! he's in jail, is he? 
Very good place for him to be. Very good place for 
him to be. Jes' leave him stay dah ; don't go to any 
bother 'bout him, Mr. Graham." 

" Well, but I take it of course, that it is our duty to 
try to do something for him. He is presumed innocent 
until he is found guilty, you know. He told me he 
had money here with you ; that I should call on you 
and get five dollars from you ; and that 30U would 
give fifteen more if I cleared him. I suppose you 
knew all about it." 

"No, no, Mr. Graham, he got no five dollars here 
wid me, nor I wouldn't gib no fifteen cents to save 
him. No, I did not know what become ob him. He 
left here early in de spring, after eatin' off me all 
winter. In fact, Mr. Graham, dat boy orn'ry from de 
cradle, and gib me more trouble dan all de oder chil- 
dren I eber riz or had to do with. I got all my other 
children riz up 'spectable men and women, but dat boy 
wouldn't nebber take no bidden, never take no bidden 
from de start. I declare I don't know where he got it. 
No, he has got into a very good place ; don't go to any 
trouble 'bout him, Mr. Graham." 



380 WAIvTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Well, admitting all you say to be true, Mr. May- 
bourn, which I do not doubt in the least, he is still 
entitled to be tried for this offence, upon its own par- 
ticular merits. That is his right, and he certainly did 
tell me a very plausible story about this coat." 

" No doubt ob dat, Mr. Graham. No doubt he tells 
you a very likely story ; he's smart enough for a man 
ob eighty ; fact, he's smart enough for Fred. Douglas ; 
but dat's not de pint. You're no wiser after you heer'd 
his stor5' dan you was before. You don't know him as 
well as I does, Mr. Graham. No, he's in a very good 
place, Mr. Graham ; jes' leave him be dah ; don't go 
to any trouble 'bout him." 

At nine o'clock Walter was back at home chopping 
wood at the wood-pile with a not too sharp ax, with 
his thoughts alternating between Blanch Morton's trip 
to Europe and his experiences with his first client, about 
neither of which he was entirely happy. But in spite 
of all, there would occasionally rise before his vision 
the ludicrous figure of an old darkey, and if you had 
been standing close by him, you might have heard him 
whispering, as he smiled, "Ah ! he'sin jail ishe? Very 
good place for him to be ; very good place to be ; jes' 
leave him stay dah ; don't go to any trouble 'bout him, 
Mr. Graham." 



CHAPTER XXI. 

PRACTICAL \-S. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 

^'^HK family is the unit of society, the small muni- 
-*- cipality is the unit of the great Republic. Fami- 
lies vary in size and, they, like society itself, are made 
up of separate units. Townships vary in size and are 
composed of separate units. The size of the unit by 
which we measure any quantity is simply arbitrary ; 
a Jeaspoonful of water is a small unit by which to 
measure the ocean. But the importance of that unit 
depends solely on the position it occupies. Dip a 
teaspoonful of water from the ocean and you cannot 
notice that you have lowered its depth ; get the same 
quantity in your mouth when you are bathing in 
the surf, and your inconvenience is great ; you emit it 
with a vigorous effort. A single grain of sand is a 
small unit by which to measure the earth, but let it 
light in your eye on a dusty day as you walk down the 
street, and you at once feel its importance. The largest 
circle is but the innumerable number of infinitesimal 
straight lines, but a piece of hardened steel no thicker 
than your knife blade can sever it, though it be made 
of iron. Break one link of the great endless chain that 
winds you to the top of Washington monument and 
the elevator will fall to the ground. 

Thus it was that Adams Township was one of the 
units in the great republic of the United States. It 
might have been composed in turn of twenty-five hun- 



L 



382 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

dred units who made up its population, but all these 
units were not supposed to be of equal importance. 
Any person counts one when the census enumerator 
comes along, but it was only the five hundred male 
units, ichite male units who at that time had ballots in 
their hands, that could be relied on to settle all ques- 
tions of public policy in Adams township, to preserve 
its good name at the polls, and keep pure the great 
body politic. Indeed, in the matter which it seems 
necessary now to relate, the importance is confined 
chief!}' to three hundred Republican male units of 
Adams township. The two hundred Democrat units 
who exercised the high prerogative of voting were 
highl}' entertained spectators on this occasion, except a 
few who were of sufficient insignificance to escape at- 
tention and were graciously led by their Republican 
friends to the polls to enjoy the exquisite pleasure of 
counting one. 

Of these three hundred Republican units, who are 
conceded to have a divine right to participate in their 
own primary election in Adams township and settle their 
ovv'n disputes in their own good way, it must not be 
supposed that even they were all of equal importance. 
Some men will fill a larger space in the communit)^ 
than others, notwithstanding they were all born with 
equal rights. The son of a poor old Irishman, who 
thought he had the qualities of honesty and audacity 
to commend him, with nothing but a common school 
education, without a trade, without means of support 
other than manual labor, and the title to a small house 
in the outskirts of a country village, assessed at six 
hundred dollars, occupied by two aged parents, with 
whom he lived, as dependent as himself on their labor 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS 383 

for support, would not, ordinarily speaking, be consid- 
ered a great weight in the community. But shoot 
him down on the field of battle, in the defence of a 
common country ; send him back to his home wath his 
right arm severed above the elbow, with his index fin- 
ger torn from his other hand, with the commission of a 
second lieutenant, though it be only in his pocket, 
obtained as all his neighbors instinctively understood, 
not from any outside influences that were ever exerted 
on his behalf, but from merit alone, in the cause for 
which he offered himself a sacrifice, and you at once 
have another being. 

Throw him in this condition on the scale against 
'Squire Bowers, who stands in the same community for 
wealth, social position, ex-member of the lyCgislature 
and astute polititian, and he will almost kick the 
beam. 

lyCt him ask for the delegates of his district to a 
county convention, before which he is an aspirant for a 
purely clerical office, in opposition to the Hon. Hort- 
ing Bowers, who desires them before the same conven- 
tion to promote his ambitions for the State Senate, and 
you at once throw the little raunicipalit}- into convul- 
sions; the whole political fabric will tremble from cen- 
tre to circumference. 

Such was the status of things in Adams township in 
the early part of August, 1867, two months after Wal- 
ter Graham and his companions had heard the question 
mooted that Pat. McKnight was to be a candidate for 
Register in Jefferson county. The proposition was 
new, you will remember, to most of the boys that Sun- 
day evening, including Walter ; but, you will remem- 
ber, also, that he was informed the suggestion had 



t 



384 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

come from Mr. Williamson. The reader may have per- 
ceived by this time, that that alone would naturally 
have entitled it to some consideration in Walter Gra- 
ham's mind. Add to this the fact that he, naturally, 
had a strong desire to do something for Pat., a feeling 
in which most of the old army boys about the neigh- 
borhood naturally shared, and it will require no great 
stretch of the imagination to see Walter an enthusiastic 
advocate of Patrick's cause. 

Indeed, there is always a kind of implied under- 
standing, that a young lawyer is to plunge into politics 
for a few years at first, until he gathers in clients. To 
be sure, it was from the rostrum that Walter would 
have preferred- to make his first plunge. That would 
have been far more in harmony with his tastes, not to 
say, ability. In fact, he had never devoted much time 
to the the management of local politics. In short, he 
had never been at a primary election, though he had 
managed to attend all the general elections since his 
return from the arm}^, even while he was at college. 
But, it must be remembered, this is what they term an 
off-year in politics ; there was no Presidential election. 
How was he to mount the rostrum, when there was no 
rostrum to mount ? It would be fully twelve months 
before he could hope to see his name on the advertise- 
ment of a large Republican mass meeting, as one of 
the speakers. He must, therefore, have something on 
which to vent the surplus energy that was being pent 
up during the long, monotonous hours in which he 
was waiting for clients to crowd around him with 
liberal retainers in their hands. 

What better was there at hand than making Pat. 
McKnight Register ? It was a field into which .some sen- 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 385 

timeiit entered after all ; for if Pat. reached the goal for 
which he was now aspiring, it was evident it would be 
the result of a sentiment, a sense of gratitude, a feeling 
of sympath}', a demand for fair play, a qualit}- gener- 
ally recognizable b}- the most of us between man and 
man, though we sometimes fail to discern it between 
self and man. It was this that Mr. Williamson had 
foreseen from the start. It was this that caused him to 
suggest it to Pat. in the beginning. It was reliance on 
this sentiment that would make him say to the boys, 
" Keep working it up. The sentiment is a strong one ; 
if rightly managed, it may pull him through. Be care- 
ful not to say any harsh things of your adversary. Put 
it chiefl}' on the ground that it is only paying a just 
debt." 

As the time passed on, it was manifest that Mr. Wil- 
liamson's judgment had been reasonabl) clear. Walter, 
as he returned from Sharw^ood each Friday evening to 
spend his Saturdays and Sundays at home, was wonder- 
fully gratified with the accumulations of strength to 
Pat 's cause. In the beginning it was received b}^ many 
as a huge joke, by others with a suppressed smile, but a 
considerable number were heard to say that, w^hile they 
did not suppose the thing would amount to much, they 
must admit he had strong claims on the sympathies of 
the people. 'vSquire Bowers him.self, whose plans had 
been maturing for the State Senate for the last three 
years, ever since he letired from the lower branch of 
the Legislature, it must be stated, was not among 
those who pooh-poohed it from its inception. From 
the day he first heard of it he was alarmed. He was 
far too shrewd a politician not to see that it presaged 
danger to his cause. ' Squire Horting Bowers had serv^ed 

17 



386 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

his constituents three terms in the Legislature, it is 
true, without having his name connected with any 
great pubHc measure, or having it linked in any galaxy 
of brilliant statesmen ; but his record was clean, and 
his influence had alwaj'S been sufficient to secure Adams 
Township for an5'thing he had asked of it. He was, 
in fact, in many respects, a very clever, obliging man, 
though his sons were sometimes a little^ effusive. His 
judgment was sufficiently clear to tell him that old 
Williamson was right. The sentiment on which Pat. 
would be brought before the people was a strong one. 
He had no desire to confront it. He felt that if bound 
to take direct issue with it, it might be the severest 
struggle of his life to overcome it. It would put prac- 
tical politics to the supreme test. He could not afford 
to be beaten ; something must be done. He would 
take counsel with his friends. 

Who do you think was the first man he went to con- 
sult with ? Jacob Graham. 

Why ? Because he thought he could tell him better 
than anyone else in the township to what extent Pat.'s 
claims were likely to be pushed. Because he thought 
if such a storm was brewing, Jacob Graham, of all 
men in the township, stood in the best position to avert 
it, if he wished. Because if Jacob Graham did not 
wish to avert it, he was anxious to know it. 

Accordingly he went to him and said in substance, 
"Jacob, you and I-have always been friends, from the 
daj^ 5'ou and your young wife came to rent my farm, 
up to the present moment. I cannot recall an unkind 
word that ever passed between us. I soon discovered 
that you were a man of far more than ordinar}^ intelli- 
gence and natural force of character ; that your wife 
was a lady of the most estimable traits. I have seen 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 387 

you live in this community for twenty-five years and 
rear your family of bright intelligent children. I have 
seen you prosper in a worldly point of view. I saw 
you leave my farm as a cropper and purchase this 
property, considerably out of order and pretty heavilj' 
in debt, in pursuance of your own good judgment, 
which told you that it would certainl}' become valu- 
able on account of its near proximity to the new rail- 
road. I have seen your judgment vindicated. You 
have improved this property, beautified it, and it has 
become valuable. I have seen the village grow and 
expand in the very direction you predicted it would, 
and already your land on the other side of the creek is 
becomirg desirable for building lots. I have seen you 
pay off the last dollar of your mortgage, and if I am 
not mightily mistaken, you have a little money left 
you. I know that you and your family enjoj' the entire 
respect of this community. No man carries more weight 
in it than yourself. You have been for many years presi- 
dent of our school board by reason of your supreme fit- 
ness for the position, and I can say further, truly and 
without flatter}', that I have been looking to the time in 
the near future when you would occupy a seat in our 
Legislature. I know furthermore, of course, that 3'ou 
are a man who form your own judgments and reach 
your own conclusions, and I shall blame you in no way 
for any conclusion you may reach or any position you 
may take in this matter of Pat. McKnight's candidacy. 
In fact, I see many strong reasons that would drift 
your sympathies in that direction, but can't you give 
me some idea as to who is pushing his case ; how 
strongly it is likely to be pushed ; whether there could 
not be some satisfactory arrangement made between 



I 



388 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

his friends and mine ; and, if it should come to a final 
test, on which side I might expect to find you ? For I 
assure you I consider your position in this matter of 
more importance to me now than that of any other 
man in the township." 

Jacob Graham heard the 'vSquire through, thought 
to himself " there is no discounting the fact that you 
are a mighty nice talker," reflected for a moment, 
cleared his throat, and replied substantially as fol- 
lows ; " 'Squire, I thank you for your compliments, and 
do not question in the least their sincerity, though you 
doubtless have a motive in bestowing them upon me 
now. We all act from motives. The object of your 
ambition on this occasion is perfectly worthy ; I 
believe I have always been willing to do what I could 
in advancing your political asj)irations. You are cer- 
tainly right in saying that in all our acquaintance and 
business relations there has never been an unkind 
word passed between us, and I will take this occasion 
to thank you for all the kindnesses you have shown 
me. I am especialh^ gratified to have you intimate 
that it shall not affect our friendl}- relations, whatever 
may be the outcome of this issue. And now, in reference 
to the matter itself, I will say this, that I have already 
given it some thought, and in view of those friendly 
relations which exist between us. in view of my natual 
desire to do all that I can consistently for you, I would 
suggest that there be no contest ; that our four dele- 
gates be mutually agreed upon, that they shall be as 
much Pat.'s as yours, and as much yours as Pat's ; or, 
in other words, that he shall name two and you shall 
name two, that the}' go into the convention with the 
understanding that they are to work for both of you, 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAI. POLITICS. 389 

or for the one of you who has the best prospects of 
being nominated, either united or divided, as the}' see 
fit. Farther than that I have nothing to suggest, for as 
3'ou have asked me frankl}' where I would be in the 
event of a final contest, I must answer you with equal 
frankness, that if an open contest is made in this town- 
ship for the delegates in this issue I am compelled to 
sa}', that in view of all the associations that surround 
me, in view of all that my own son has suffered, in 
view of the sleepless nights that I have spent conjec- 
turing whether he was lying dead upon the battle- 
field, starving in a Southern prison, dj-ing in a hospital, 
or shivering with cold for want of shelter ; in view^ of 
the anxious hours I have spent wondering whether his 
mother would yet go first in the unnatural drain she 
was making upon her strength to nurse him back to 
life, in view of that feeling that was shared by you 
and me and every patriot during the dark days of the 
war, in which we were hourly praying that our flag 
might be upheld, and that God might strengthen our 
own brave soldiers that the}- might be victorious in the 
end, that we might yet all enjoy the common bless- 
ings of a common country, free, united prosperous ; 
in view of how we all said in town meeting and every- 
where, ' Boys, if you wull only go in and save this 
countr}' now we will see to it that the country shall 
not be ungrateful,' and above all, in view of ni}' own 
sense of duty in the premises, I must say, 'Squire, that 
if Pat. McKnight stands up before me with his one 
arm and three fingers and asks me to give him this 
chance to earn bread your claims will have to give 
way." 



390 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

The 'Squire coughed and said, "Could no other 
arrangement be reached ? You know divided delega- 
tions amount to nothing in conventions. Could not 
Pat. be induced to wait, if we all do what we can for 
him in the future." 

" If his friends think he has a chancfe to win now it 
does not lie in my mouth to discourage him." 

" Is not this course onl}^ calculated to defeat both of 
us ? And then suppose it does come to a final issue 
here in the township, and you get beaten, have not 
you left both him and yourselves in a worse position? " 

' ' I shall cheerfully accept all consequences so far as 
concerns myself, ' ' replied Jacob. 

The 'Squire coughed again, got in his carriage and 
drove away. That night his wife said to him, "What 
is the matter, Horting ; can't you get to sleep ? " 

" No, Jake Graham has made me sick." 

" How? " 

He explained how, and concluded, " But don't let it 
show on the surface. We must keep up a bold front." 

" Horting, had you not better accept his proposition, 
or just abandon it for the present? " said his wife. 

"I don't know; I must have time to consider; I 
must see Slybarr in the morning." 

Who was Slybarr? Joshua Slybarr, commonly 
called Josh ; was a citizen of Adams township. He 
lived at Martin's cross roads, in the brick house on 
the opposite side of the road from the store. He 
owned the store and the house he lived in. His lot 
ran back to Mr. Williamson's land, with whom he had 
always lived on friendly relations as neighbor, but to 
whom he never confided his innermost political plans. 
He never kept the store himself, but always rented it 



I 



I 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 391 

out. He was not what would have been considered 
wealth}-, even for that rural district, though he was, 
generally speaking, a man of leisure. He could pose 
on a tavern porch on a summer afternoon, in a high- 
backed chair, with his feet against the post, making the 
curls of smoke ascend from his cigar w'ith as much 
grace as the next man. But he seldom ever imbibed. 
He had resolution enough to say no, when no was 
necessary. No man had ever seen him the worse 
for stimulants. In fact, men who have great concerns 
on their shoulders generally like to keep their heads 
clear. Though, as already said, he was not considered 
rich, he alwaj's paid for all he bought, and therefore it 
was none of the people's business how he lived. 
Some reports said that occasionally he did engage in 
business, that he dealt sometimes in margins and had 
always (or nearly always) been successful, hence his 
plethoric purse. 

In physique he was the ideal man. He was exactly 
seventy-two and a-half inches high, broad-shouldered 
and well-proportioned. He raised the beam at two 
hundred and seven and no surplus flesh about him 
at that. He was one of three men within a radius of 
five miles from Shocktown who, report said, had lifted 
a seven hundred and fifty pound anvil which lay at 
the back of Hoover's smith shop over the third rail of 
the fence. And he had been known, on one occasion 
at least, to settle what threatened to be a rather serious 
difficulty at a campmeeting in a very summary wa}', 
which made people of pugilistic tendencies in the 
neighborhood a little afraid of him. Being still in the 
prime of life, that is to say on the sunny side of forty- 
five, he maj^ well be supposed to be on this occasion in 



392 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the full possession of all his original powers, both 
physical and mental. Chief among his mental facul- 
ties was a natural aptitude for local politics. Of all 
those who had managed the politics of Adams town- 
ship he, from a purely practical standpoint, was the 
great Mogul of them all. He had served an unexpired 
term as justice of the peace himself, and one full term 
in the school board, but as a rule he had not been 
importunate for office for himself; in fact, an impression 
existed to some extent that he entertained the opinion 
that he could do better for himself, as well as for his 
friends, b}- not being a candidate too frequently. In 
other words, that it paid better to be an office broker 
than an office holder. Many were the men indeed, whom 
he held, not only in his own, but in adjoining townships, 
to be his special beneficiaries. His particular specialty 
was that of being delegate to the county conventions. 
To have his township at his disposal in tho.se conven- 
tions was his highest ambition, hence his ability to 
place people beyond her borders under obligations to 
him. Therefore he would frequently .seem to be en- 
tirely indifferent between neighbors in their contests 
for offices at home so long as the tacit understanding 
remained that he might represent the sovereignty of 
his township at Sharwood. He even permitted his 
neighbor, Mr. Williamson, on one occasion, to be 
elected school director, in response to a demand of the 
people over at Shocktown for a new graded school of 
which Williamson had been a strong advocate. In- 
deed, he would sometimes say, "Old Williamson is a 
prett}' smart old fellow, but a little too full of senti- 
ment, and not a practical politician." 

He had been in the armv a few weeks in some 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 393 

emergency regiment, but there was no fraternity of 
soldierly feeling that would embarass him in his course 
in the matter of Pat. McKnight's candidacy. He was 
a />r«f//m/ politician and had methods of his own which 
he did not impart to everj^body. It went without say- 
ing that if 'Squire Bowers was elected to the State Sen- 
ate, his nephew would have a position at the state 
capital, and that was of far more practical importance 
to him than any sentiment which proposed to elect a 
one-armed soldier Register of Wills, who, ordinarily 
speaking, could not control two votes. 

This was who Slybarr was, and true enough, the 
next day 'Squire Bowers had a close consultation with 
him. The 'squire and Slybarr had always enjoyed 
each others confidences ; the 'squire never caring to 
worry his friend in detail about all his methods, though 
it was tacitly understood that he knew them by infer- 
ence. Suffice it to say that he had great faith in Sh'- 
barr's judgment and ability to accomplish results in 
practical politics, and it was that that he was after 
on this occasion. So, after lajdng all that he knew 
before this practical statesman, he said, " Now, SI5'- 
barr, what ought I to do ? How much trouble can they 
give us ?" 

Slybarr smiled, looked up at the 'Squire, and said, 
with assurance, " 'Squire, there is not a damned thing 
in it ; I have investigated and got to the bottom of it. 
There is nobody- pushing it but a lot of those boys over 
at Shocktown, with young Graham at their head, and 
old Williamson stuffing them up with a high-flown 
sentiment. There is not a man who knows anything 
about politics among them. Give yourself no uneasi- 
ness about it. I can fix the iron works for us solid, if 



\ 



394 WALTER GRAHAM, vSTATESMAN. 

Hookey will just not interfere, which I know he will 
not; in fact, we had better make him one of your dele- 
gates, and, perhaps, Joseph Bernard another, or his' 
son. That will break the force of those young con- 
ceits in the village. I can fix the machine shops with 
Jacobs, and you know the two hotel keepers will have 
to stand by us, solid as a rock, and you, yourself, have 
but to speak to those simple-minded Dutch farmers up 
in the upper corner. The}' take no stock in this old 
soldier racket. Then just leave all other matters of 
detail to me. I will guarantee you will go to Sharwood 
with your four delegates." 

" Yes, I am glad to find you so sanguine," said the 
'Squire, "but I don't like the idea of Graham being 
against us, and other important men that you do not 
mention, such as our old friend Swave, at the store, 
Elmer Miller and his boys at the coach shop, I^ong's 
boys. Jack Matson and his father will be against us, 
and Hoover, though his son is not here now, and Mr. 
Kerr. No, sir, you will find that all these men who 
had boys in the army, and many of them lost sons 
at that, will all fight us from the shoulder, and we can- 
not really say that Pat. is not qualified for the office. 
His qualifications are about as high as those of many 
who have been elected to such positions." 

"That's all right, 'Squire, but if those boys can carry 
this township against you now, then I will quit poli- 
tics. Besides, you mistake yourself when you think 
those men are going to be actively against us. They 
will only be passivel}^ so. Those bo3'S can't run their 
fathers that way. But there is one thing, however, 
Squire, you had better do; don't let your own boys 
make impudent remarks. Someone said that Hiram 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMKNTAt POLITICS. 395 

said, over at Shocktowii, the other da}'', he did not 
know what claims that young Irishman had on the 
township." Not that it amounts to much, but such 
remarks onh* create a bitter feeling against us. But 
you depend upon it, sir, we are going to have four 
delegates from this township for you. You have no 
terms to offer or accept." 

After hearing these declarations of confidence from 
Slybarr, the Squire went home feeling a little more com- 
fortable but not entirely at ease, "If Slybarr is so 
entirely confident," he thought, " why did he incident- 
allj' allude to a feeling, or, in other words, a sentiment 
that might be bitter. But still he thought to himself 
he is a man of wonderful resources and I will leave all 
detail to him, if I finally determine upon this course. 
Meanwhile I must caution the boys. ' ' 

That night when the 'Squire had cautioned the boys, 
High, said, "Yes, that is all right, but you don't 
actually think, do j'ou, father, that a young, ill-bred 
Irishman, a young swell of a lawyer like Walt. Gra- 
ham and an old blatherskite like ol*^' Williamson can 
beat 3'ou, do you ? ' ' 

"No, I do not think they can beac me, but then 
young ill-bred Irishmen, young swells of lawyers and 
old blatherskites all have votes. We must be careful 
how we talk." 

Well, what did 'Squire Bowers do next? He went 
to Sharwood to consult certain friends there, or perhaps 
more accuratel}- speaking, certain powers. In fact, I 
have sometimes imagined there are people at every 
county seat of any importance who simpl}' touch a 
certain wire which communicates with all parts of the 
county, and tell certain persons in the different town- 



396 WALTER CxRAHAM, STATEvSMAlSf, 

ships when the dance is to commence and who shall 
occupy the floor. In the grand ball of local politics 
they may be properly designated as the parties who 
call the figures. 

'Squire Bowers had been waiting, as already stated, 
for three years, to hear his name announced. He had 
now been invited to take his position on the lead, in 
the new set that was about forming. He was leading 
his mistress, Miss State vSenate to her place on the 
floor, when with a little natural shyness she shrank 
back half frightened, as has been alread}' described, at 
the sight of Pat. McKnight's one arm and three fingers. 
Hence his visit to Sharwood, to know for certain if 
there had been some mistake in the call, or whether 
prudence required that it should be countermanded. 
So after lajdng all matters fairly before the powers 
that there existed, he was asked in substance but one 
question, "Can you carry the delegates of the town- 
ship if it comes to a square out and out fight ? " 

"Yes, I believe I can." 

"Well, then, go home and do it ; accept of no tem- 
porizing." 

"Yes, but it will make a bitter fight, and probabh' 
cost me some of ms^ old friends tliat I could always 
rely on. It will arouse considerable feeling. There is 
already a strong soitimcnt being created in favor of the 
one-armed soldier as they term it. Could we not 
arrange something by which they could be pacified, 
and take care of me at the same time ? ' ' 

" We do not see anything that could be arranged at 
present, unless you are willing to throw up the sponge 
for another time. There is no use in talking about 
crowding two men on us from the same township in 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 397 

the same year. Be.sides, that would do no good now, 
for we have already slated another man for Register. 
[No, sir, you go home and bring all 3'our delegates 
,'hole for yourself, and we will make you senator ; 
what need you care if you succeed. The}^ may have 
the soitimcut if we get the delegates. Of course, in 
making your fight, you are at libert}' to make what 
promises you please to them for the next term. No, 
sir, we believe in practical politics You will excuse 
me. Good-by, there are other parties waiting for me." 

The next day there was a little article in the " Shar- 
wood Herald,'" the organ of the powers, saying, " Our 
old friend Hon Horting Bowers was in town yesterdaj' 
presumably looking after his senatorial prospects, 
which he assured his man}- friends could not look bet- 
ter. Some little dissension was intimated at one time, 
as existing in his own township, on account of the 
aspirations of a young candidate for another office. But 
we are glad to know that there is nothing serious in 
that direction. Indeed it is hardly likely that the few 
friends of the young man would rush on in such a 
course without giving it a second sober thought." 

Two days later there appeared a short article in the 
" Sharwood Mercury,'' the other Republican daily of 
the county, which ran as follows: "We cannot but 
regret that our old friend 'Squire Bowers, of Adams 
township, has chosen this inopportune moment to push 
his otherwise strong claims for the State Senate. We 
doubt very much if the road to the Senate lies over 
maimed and wounded soldiers who saved cur U'nion, 
and for whom a grateful people stand pledged to pro- 
vide. We fear the Squire is misreading public senti- 
ment, or else has lent his ear to bad advisers, Though 



398 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

perhaps the second sober thought may come in time to 
change him in his course." 

What did 'Squire Bowers do next ? He went over to 
Shocktown the next Friday evening and intercepted 
Walter as he arrived from Sharwood. He drew him 
and Tom Swave aside and said to them in substance, 
■'You are both young men of influence in this neigh- 
borhood, you both have futures before you ; I would 
not wish to see you blast them ; Thomas here can, no 
doubt, have any position almost that he may desire in 
the township in another year, and you Walter can re- 
ceive the hearty support and influence of all the com- 
munity around in your practice, to raise j^ou at once 
to that high position in your profession which we all 
expect to see you assume, if you only act prudently. 
To do that you must keep yourself in line with the 
thought and action of the controlling people and influ- 
ences of the neighborhood. You can accomplish a great 
deal more by being practical than by being impractical. 
You can, in short get something for Pat in that way, 
while by forcing things you will lose everything, which 
of course means your own influence. Now we all 
recognize the natural elements of strength that attend 
Pat.'s course, and under ordinary circumstances we 
would be only too glad to assist him in his cause. But 
as the situation now stands, he had better wait, and I 
will assure you young men, with your honorable re- 
cords, that no man honors or respects the soldiers of 
our country more or will do more for them than I, and 
what I wish to say to you is this : if Pat. and his 
friends will only agree to postpone their cause for an- 
other term, I and my friends shall all be for him to the 
utmost of our ability." 



PRACTICAL VS. SENTIMENTAL POLITICS. 399 

The boys looked at each other with a httle hesi- 
tancy, and it is not too much to say that just such 
propositions as these have caused men of older years 
than they to hesitate. Walter was rather inclined to 
give Tom an opportunity to speak first. He had a 
kind of presentiment that the 'squire considered Tom's 
the most practical mind of the two, and he was willing 
to hear what he had to suggest But the Swave young 
man was silent. Walter then spoke as follows : 

"Your proposition seems all right, 'Squire, in many 
respects. I have but one suggestion to make ; that is 
about the waiting part of it. I would suggest that that 
party wait for another time, who is ablest to do so. 
In that event, I think I maj^ safely say that Pat.'s 
friends will all be for you the next time." 

Tom smiled. The squire looked a little like a man 
who understands when he has received a heavy blow 
between the eyes, though he tried to conceal his dis- 
comfiture from the j^oung men whom he had been 
endeavoring to impress as unpractical. The conversa- 
tion was practically ended. Well, what did the squire 
do next ? He concluded to gird himself for the Her- 
culean task that lay before him, to carr}- the delegates 
for himself in spite of everything. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE RESULT. 

T^ES, 'Squire Bowers began to feel now that he had 
-*- but one of two things to do, either to ingloriously 
quit the field, or plunge headlong into the conflict. He 
was not by nature an aggressive man, and therefore he 
had been doing what he could, largely from timidity as 
well as polic}', to avoid the latter course. Pride for- 
bade him adopting the former. It was too late for him 
now to come out in a card saying that, anxious as he 
was to fill a place in the State Senate, he was not so 
anxious as to want it at the expense of bread to a one- 
armed soldier, who had stood between him and danger 
in the dark days of the war. His judgment at one 
time rather suggested that course, but he felt, to do it 
now would be interpreted rather as a confession of 
weakness than an act of magnanimit}-. Something 
told him that such an announcement at this time might 
be received by the cry, " Too late ! Too late !" No, it 
looked to him as though his bridges were burned be- 
hind him. To be magnanimous for magnanimity's 
sake was not exactly his intention at any time. Unless 
he saw some share of the profits coming to him in such 
a deal he was not over anxious to make it. To do 
him justice, however, he felt as though he had been 
pushed into his present position rather against his 
better judgment ; that he was in the hands of a power 
greater than himself; that those powers themselves 



THE RESULT. 401 

would despise him if he retreated now. No, he must 
go on, regardless of consequences ; and go on he did. 
And thus it was that once more we find him in con- 
sultation with Sh'barr. This time it was the Thursday 
evening preceding the primary election, which was to 
be the following Saturday. " Now I believe everything 
is agreed upon," said Slybarr ; "nothing overlooked 
that I can think of. Your delegates will be H. R. 
Hookey, superintendent of the iron works ; Martin 
Bernard, of the firm of Bernard & Son ; J. H. Jacobs, 
of the machine shops, and Samuel P. Lightner, an 
honest, conservative, hard-working farmer. Now that 
locates them about as well as I can do it, and keep an 
eye to the different elements of strength which we 
must have. You see. Hookey brings us a good solid 
vote from the works, and while Joseph Bernard was a 
little too cautious to be drawn into an active fight him- 
self, I told you I thought I could secure his son Mart. 
You will understand his candidacy means something, 
for the father will naturally sympathize watli his son ; 
will throw his silent influence with us. It encourages 
the young fellows who are anxious to get into politics, 
and will neutralize the force of some of the soldiers 
them.selves. There, for instance, is Flora, that one- 
eyed fellow, who is kind of foreman for the firm, and 
who lost his eye in the army. He was in the same 
compau}' with Pat. You see he will be afraid to vote 
against us now. Then Jacobs, at the shops, has about 
a half dozen fellows around him that the other side 
thought they were sure of, simply because one of them 
had been in the army. But we will get them now, 
Democrats and all, or mj^ name is not Slybarr. Then 
you know what lyightner's candidacy means. It 



402 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 



1 



means not only his two boys, but all your conservative 
German element up there. In fact, the honest, hard- 
working farmer racket can be played quite as effectu- 
ally as the soldier racket. Now all these men have 
been spoken to, and you have been around in person 
and made a personal appeal, have you, to the people? 
And you will go once more in the morning, under- 
stand, and make a special request to the.se men to 
stand for delegates." 

" Yes, I will attend to that to-morrow," replied the 
'vSquire, " and I assure you, I have made a pretty thor- 
ough canvass of the township, and, while I have every 
reason to be hopeful, I tell you I find a greats many 
people who have a strong .sympathy for Pat. He, too, 
has been all over the township in persor, and really, 
from what I can learn, has been conducting himself 
quite modestly. In most cases he has made a very 
favorable impression. Two days he was taken around 
by young Graham, but most of the time just traveled 
over the township on foot. By the way, how is it that 
you do not intend to be a delegate yourself. I thought 
that was agreed upon. I feel as though I might need 
you in the convention." 

" I have thought that matter over in all its bear- 
ings," replied Slybarr, " and have come to the conclu- 
sion that is better for me not to be a candidate. 
You must remember the first essential and important 
thing for you to have is your delegates. Secure that 
point, and then my getting into the convention will be 
a simple matter. Nothing is easier than to get your- 
self substituted, especially if that is the deal before 
hand." 



THE RESULT. 403 

"Good," said the 'Squire, slapping him on the shoul- 
der ; "I see you have thought of everything." 

" I have tried to take everything in, sir," said Sly- 
barr. " I generally keep my eyes peeled for breakers 
ahead, and now while I think of it, there is one other 
matter to which I wish to call your attention. Do not 
fail to have every man you can muster at the polls in 
time for the organization. As I am the committee 
man, I can have my watch ten minutes fast or ten min- 
utes slow, as occasion may require. But without 
going into any further detail, you be sure to have every 
available man there by half past two o'clock. It is 
highly, important that we should have the organiza- 
tion. You must remember that this is no ordinary 
contest that we have on hand, and I do not propose 
that we shall be licked in it. All that is necessary for 
you to know is, as soon as I call the meeting to order, 
Hornbrook will be nominated for judge, the motion 
will be seconded and put through before the boys 
know what struck them. In the same way we will put 
Black and Slade through for inspectors, or if they do 
catch their breath in time to give us any trouble it will 
not be before we get down to the last inspector, which 
will be Slade, and, as you know, under the rules of the 
party each inspector has the privilege of choosing his 
own clerk, we will have things well in hand. But 
don't forget, the main thing for 3-ou to do is to simplj- 
remember our men, Hornbrook, Black and Slade. If 
there is any change made I will let you know. ' ' 

It is useles to go into detail as to how the 'Squire left 
Slybarr and obeyed his instructions minutely. How the 
fever had been raging in the township for the past few 
days, and how it continued to rage for the tw^o nights 



404 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

and two days that remained between then and the open- 
ing of the polls. How old men, who were usually very 
lethargic in such matters, were now rejuvenated. 
How young boys, who had never been at a primary 
election before, began to declare that it was time some 
3'ounger blood was being infused into our local politics. 
How the hardy sons of toi' at the iron works all felt 
the hour had come when they must rush to the rescue 
of their county. How^ scholastic men, like Professor 
Baker, and sedate clergymen, like Rev. Hartley, began 
to think perhaps they had been derelict in their duty, 
heretofore, in not attending the primaries. 

How the remarks that began to fall from the one and 
the other side began to smack a little more of personali- 
ties. How the 'Squire's friends v>'ere heard to say it was 
the most audacious thing of which they had ever heard. 
"A young upstart like this McKnight presuming to 
have stronger claims on the township than 'Squire 
Bowers, our first and most enterprising citizen, simply 
because he had been in the army for awhile, and for 
which he was already receiving a large pension." 
How Pat.'s friends retorted with a sarcasm that cut 
like a knife, " Yes, he is a wonderfully public spirited 
man. He gave the Ladies' Aid Society on one occasion 
ten dollars, while poor old John McKnight gave them 
two and his son to the country besides," and by such 
questions as " Where were the 'Squire's two boys dur- 
ing the war? " How old Mr. Williamson would smile 
and sa}-, "Don't get excited, boys; they are digging 
pits for tliemselves, not for you. Some of them have 
placards on their backs already that they wish they 
were rid of" How they still laid great stress on peo- 
ple being practical in politics as in everything else, 



THE RESUIvT. 405 

and not flying off on a tangent. How Tom vSwave 
said, " Do you know what they mean by practical poli- 
tics? It is simply so give Slybarr one hundred dollars 
or more to bu}' up those fellows down at the iron 
works and all the other mercenaries he can over the 
township, and then as a last resort, if necessary, have 
an election board that will count their men in." 

This was a broad-side, imprudent enough to have 
come from Walter or any other of the young men 
rather than the discreet Tom Swave. But neverthe- 
less he was never sued for slander. And right here, 
perhaps, it might as well be said that if the reader 
thinks he discovers something dark being hinted at, 
some mysterious shadow about to fall over this dele- 
gate election being held in the quiet little village and 
in the midst of this honest farming communit}- ; if he 
further feels a little surprised at such a thing in the 
narrative of one who rather intimated in his first chap- 
ter that thD.se who protest the loudest about corrup- 
tion are possibly sometimes alarmists rather than 
patriots, or that they mav possibly have a motive be- 
hind their cry of righteousness not always disclo.sed ; 
the}^ must also remember that the author pledged him- 
self to suppress no truth, let him find it where he 
might, let it strike whom it would. And he will say 
now with equal candor, that tho.se honest country folks 
who fancy that all the sharp practices in politics, and 
manipulation of returns are confined to the wards of 
large cities, are suffering from a delusion. The author 
only wishes to say that he has attended primary elec- 
tions in both places, and has not as yet discovered an}' 
very great difference in the tendencies of human na- 
ture in either case. True, the opportunities for com- 



406 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

raanding large blocks of commercial votes maybe a 
little more numerous in the cities than in the countrj', 
but the honest people are also a little more on the alert 
for the return tinker and lightning calculator. Besides 
the strong rivalry of factions in either case sometimes 
compel men to make a virtue of honesty. And in the 
long run let us hope and believe that there is an inborn 
sense of honesty in the majority of the American peo- 
ple, a native patriotism strong enough to make stuffing 
of the ballot boxes at least the exception not the rule ; 
to preserve from immolation the great S5\stem of free 
government which God Almighty has been pleased to 
foster upon this continent. 

But now for the election. And it will be remem- 
bered, as already stated, that Slybarr generally at- 
tended to certain matters of detail himself; he may 
have had an object in choosing the men already men- 
tioned for officers of this election. It is necessary only, 
however, to say that Hornbrook, whom his mind had 
hit upon for judge was a little fellow who sometimes 
passed as clerk in Jones" store and sometimes as travel- 
ing salesman. He was what the boys called kind of 
sphinx-eyed and cross-eyed both ; he was red-headed 
and bow-legged, and generally received the appellation 
about the village of " little Horney." Though not of 
a specialh' religious cast, he had never been called an 
idiot. He had been a kind of regulation judge at the 
primary elections, and inspector at the general elec- 
tions for years. He was making a great personal 
sacrifice on this occasion to come some seventy miles 
from where he was traveling with his goods to be 
home in time to attend this primary election. He was 
an adept in figures and an expert penman. In other 



THE RESULT. 407 

words, he was a man whom Slybarr was perfectly will- 
ing to trust at a ballot box in an emergency, and 
Hornbrook himself doubted if there were any other 
citizen in Adams township as well qualified as he to 
preside at an election board, hence his great effort to 
get home. 

But, let us see what happened that da3^ Three o'clock 
p. M., was the hour for opening the polls. At exactl}' 
that hour by Slybarr' s watch, which was ten minutes 
fast, he looked over the crowd and was not as well 
pleased with the look of it as he had hoped to be, though 
his countenance betrayed no emotion. There were more 
of the villagers around whom he knew to be in sympa- 
thy with Pat. than pleased him, and besides Hooky- 
had not arrived yet, nor more than about half the men 
from the works ; but he still felt safe. Turning to Mr. 
Miller, as he returned his watch to his pocket, he said, 
in a very indifferent way, " The time is about up alto- 
gether, I believe ; as there 'seems to be a considerable 
crowd here I reckon we might organize any time." 

" You are a little tast," replied Mr. Miller. 

"Well, w^e will give them a few minutes' grace," 
replied Slybarr, with great condescension; but, a glance 
at some newcomers did not tend entirely to increase his 
confidence ; there seemed to be about as many Mc- 
Knight men as Bowers men among the new arrivals. 
He was not a man to throw away opportunities. He 
felt sure of his ground now. He did not propose to 
let it slip from under him by waiting another five min- 
utes So accordingly at two minutes after three by his 
watch, and exactly eight minutes before three by the 
right time, he mounted the bench in the porch, in 
front of the election-room, and drawing his watch 



408 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

from his pocket, looking at it, said, "As the time for 
organizing this election ha^ arrived, indeed two min- 
utes over, it now becomes ni\- duty as committeeman, 
under the rules of the party to call this gathering to 
order. ' ' 

"Oh, you are a little sharp on the trigger," said a 
voice in the rear of the audience. " It wants ten min- 
utes of three by the right time." 

vSlybarr paid not the slightest attention to the 
remark, even assuming not to hear it, but proceeded : 
"The first thing in order is the nomination of .some 
person for judge," then turning his face to the left, 
a voice exclaimed instantly, "I nominate John Horn- 
brook." "Are there any other nominations?" asked 
Slybarr ; "if not the nominations will close." Slybarr 
saw something in the countenances of the bystanders 
that told him more forcibly than ever, as he stood 
there, that he must be quick in his motions if he 
was going to catch the boys napping, and thus it was 
that no sooner had he reached the last words of his 
last sentence than he heard the voice of Jacob Graham 
say, "Hold on, don't be quite .so fast, I nominate 
Sanuiel Long for judge." 

Slybarr did not dare disregard that voice, so without 
being the least disconcerted, he said, "Samuel Long has 
been nominated for judge. Are there any more nomi- 
nations?" He pau.'^ed several .seconds. His hurry 
was over now. vStill a third candidate ior judge was 
what he would most like to have heard now of all 
things, but the source from which the nomination of 
Sam. Long had come, and the absence of any other 
nominees, convinced him upon the instant that he was 
not the only one who was organized. The boys had 



I 



THE RESULT. 409 

caught their breath sooner than he had expected. But 
he was still not disconcerted. He knew he had some 
men with good throats on his side, and he knew that 
he could decide a close vote as quickly as any other 
man. So, after a proper pause, he continued, "If 
there are no other nominations, the audience will pro- 
ceed to vote. All those in favor of John Hornbrook 
acting as judge of this election, will please signify it 
bj' saying aye." 

Aye went up vociferously from a chorus of throats, 
several repeating it several times. 

"All those in favor of Samuel Long will please say 
aye," continued Slybarr. A volume of ayes w^ent up 
from what seemed to be about an equal number of 
throats. An impartial chairman might well have said, 
he was unable to decide. But Slybarr had no misgiv- 
ings. Before the sound had fairly died in the mouths 
of the lyong men, he was able to perceive who was 
elected, and just as quickly he cried out, "The Horn- 
brook men have it. Hornbrook is elected. The next 
thing in order — ' ' 

" Division, division," cried out a dozen voices, in 
tones that were calculated to impress an ordinary man, 
but Slybarr, being an extraordinary man, maintained 
his ground with great composure, as he replied, "There 
is no such thing as a division at a primary election. 
The decision of the committeeman is final." 

"Hardly worth while to bother taking the vote in 
the first place," said Mr. Williamson. The confusion 
was becoming more general all the time ; some calling 
loudly for division, others calling, "The matter has 
been decided. What do you want with a division on 
such a vote as that ? " 
i8 



410 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Every time a lull occurred, Slybarr would com- 
mence, " The next business in order is the election of 
inspectors," and every time his sentences would be 
interrupted b}^ loud cries for "division, division." 
Slybarr finally raised his voice to a decided pitch and 
exclaimed with considerable energy, "You can't take 
a division amid this confusion. The chair declares 
Hornbrook elected." 

" Aren't you going to put that motion ?" cried Sam. 
Long, as he pushed his way up near Slybarr, saying, 
"If I have been elected judge of this election, I am 
going to know it, and I am going to preside at it." 

"I am not going to put the motion again," roared 
Slybarr. 

As he saw Sam. Long standing directly in front of 
him in his shirt-sleeves, whose well-muscled arm had a 
reputation like his own, he suddenly remembered that 
he had heard it said that Sam. never took both hands 
to the hammer when he knocked a bullock down, one 
arm always being sufficient. He saw behind hini 
Dave Miller, and George and Jack Matson, all of 
whose faces bore evidence of a determination to have 
their rights, and exclaiming, "If you don't put the 
question, we will find a way to put it." 

Walter Graham's mind turned to a certain other 
historic occasion, when the Clerk of the House of Rep- 
resentatives refused to put a motion made b}^ John 
Quinc}' Adams, and the cries went tauntingly up, 
"Who is going to put your motion?" when the "Old 
Man Eloquent" rose up with commanding voice and 
exclaimed, "I will do it myself." Imitating this 
example, he jumped up on the bench alongside of Sly- 
barr, and exclaimed, "I will put the question." If 



THE RESULT. 411 

Slj'barr had stopped right then to reflect he would 
probably have admitted that he had not succeeded in 
putting his program through before the boj^s had time 
to know what struck them. It was perfectl}^ evident 
now that somebody else wanted a little time to catch 
his breath. He turned around to Walter with the 
ferocity of a tiger, and with clinched fist roared out, 
" Who the hell are you ?" 

Walter turned toward him, looked him steadily in 
the eye, and without moving a muscle, said, " I am an 
American citizen, and don't you lay hands on me." 

In an instant Slybarr did reflect, and at the same 
instant he heard the voice of Jacob Graham say- 
ing, "Slybarr, don't touch my boy or it will be a 
serious affair for you." Sam. L,ong shook his fist at 
the same time under his nose, fairly grinding out 
the words between his teeth, "Touch him, if j-ou 
dare." 

But Slybarr, be it remembered, still was not scared. 
He had only reflected in time. He was not long gath- 
ering himself up and cried out, "Mr. Graham, I have no 
thought of touching your son, but this exceeds any- 
thing I have ever seen in Adams township. This elec- 
tion is being mobbed." 

Walter was now calling order, and at the very first 
lull he exclaimed, "All those who are in favor of 
Hornbrook for judge will raise their right hands. That 
will do ; thirteen. All those for lyOng will raise their 
right hands. That will do ; fifteen. I declare Samuel 
Long elected judge of this election." 

"And I declare this a usurpation of my power," 
cried Slybarr; "John Hornbrook has been duly 
declared judge of this election, and he will proceed 



412 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to prepare the ballot box at the table. Take your 
position, Hornbrook." Meanwhile the confusion and 
yelling on the outskirts of the audience had been 
intense during this scene. Two ladies passing b}^ had 
run across the street, exclaiming, " Mercy days ! what 
in the world is going on anyhow?" A third one 
screamed "Murder," and a fourth one coming out 
from the rear of the hotel in her excitement, ran 
against a man, and when she got to her neighbors over 
the way, declared that she saw six different fist fights 
as she was coming out of the j-ard. 

Meanwhile little Hornbrook, who had been sitting 
inside the election-room all the while in readiness, now 
commenced to prepare the table and ballot box for 
operation in obedience to Slybarr's command. But 
just as he thought he was ready, Sam. I^ong burst 
into the room, picked up the table Hornbrook was lift- 
ing across the room, jerked it out of his hands, feeling 
no more resistance than if he had been a ten-year-old 
child, saying, " Hornbrook, by the eternal, I want you 
to know that I am here ; ' ' setting it over by the open 
window, then snatching the ballot box out of Horn- 
brook's hands, who was trying to escape through the 
door with it, he jumped up on the table with the ballot 
box in his hands, and said, "Gentlemen, I want you 
to understand I have been elected judge of this elec- 
tion, and I expect to serve." 

This was the signal for another bedlam, more bois- 
terous than any that had preceded it, dozens of voices 
shouting, "Down with Long; put him out; down 
with the usurper," and as many others crying, "Stand 
your ground. Long; don't let them squelsh you ; j-ou 



THE RESULT. 413 

are in the right. We will stand by you till the fire 
flies." 

Slybarr and Walter both stood on the bench by the 
open window on the outside, and Sam. on the table 
on the inside, each standing his ground, trying to get 
the attention of the crowd, Slybarr shouting to Sam., 
"Aren't you going to give that ballot box to Horn- 
brook? " " No," thundered Sam., "I'm the judge of 
this election, and the quicker you recognize that fact 
the quicker we will get to business." 

Mr. Williamson, who had made his way to the top 
of a store box, at the end of the porch, now began to 
rap with his cane for attention, and said, "Gentle- 
men, plea.se try to restrain yourselves for a few 
minutes." 

The crowd finally became quiet. His gray hair and 
venerable look gradually secured attention. There 
was, in fact, a general disposition on the part of both 
sides to hear what he had to say. Then the old fanatic 
and impractical, standing before that crowd so tumultu- 
ous but a minute before, said to them with the utmost 
composure, "Gentlemen, it is evident that if we are 
going to accompli.sh anything here, we must first have 
order. To bring order out of chaos was the first work 
of the Creator. Let us stop and consider without pas- 
sion what is the situation before us. What have we 
here? The count}^ committeeman, by virtue of his 
position, called this meeting to order. By virtue of his 
powers as committeeman and in accordance with the 
rules of our part}^ — ' ' 

"Order," cried, Slybarr. "Now let us pay strict 
attention to what our old friend has to say," He was 
evidently well pleased with the sound of these first 



414 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

sentences. Mr. Williamson continued, " He is, in 
other words, ex-officio chairman of this meeting until 
a permanent organization is effected. He asked for 
the nomination of candidates forjudge. Two citizens, 
qualified electors of the township, were nominated. 
These two candidates were voted for viva voce. The 
chairman decided in favor of Mr. Hornbrook ; whether 
right or wrong, I shall not attempt to sa}'. No doubt, 
however, honestly, and to the best of his judgment, 
and certainh' in accordance with his prima facie right 
in the case." 

Slybarr's and the 'Squire's faces were both lit up with 
a broad smile of satisfaction at this stage of his remarks, 
while Walter and Tom Swave were busy motioning to 
Sam. and their friends to be quiet, and whispering, 
"The old Inan will come around all right yet. We 
will put our trust in him still." 

Mr Williamson, continuing, said, " vSuch was the 
status of our proceedings up to that time when a divi- 
sion was called for. This is also another primary and 
inherent right on the part of any qualified elector of 
the township. This call for division .was refused 
recognition by our chairman, though to all appear- 
ances it was insisted upon by quite as large a number 
as had voted for Hornbrook. But then, our worthy 
chairman, acting under what he no doubt considered 
his powers, further decided that there was no such 
thing as an appeal from his rulings. In this he is 
surely mistaken. The right of appeal from the rulings 
of the presiding officer of any assemblage is an 
inherent right at all times, any rule to that effect 
in our party rules notwithstanding (though I am 
sure there is none such}. Now it was that another 



THE RESULT. 415 

citizen, a qualified elector of the district, arose and put 
the appeal himself, for it must be conceded that the 
second vote in reality was only an appeal from the 
chairman's rulings, and this course is sustained by the 
highest precedent, not only by an inherent right vested 
in all bodies to effect their own organization, but let 
me repeat, by a precedent no less than our House of 
Representatives, where, on one occasion, the Clerk of 
the House, by virtue of the same imagined authority, 
refused to recognize a certain motion of John Quincy 
Adams, when he arose and put the question himself, and 
was sustained. Now, Walter Graham, after the refusal 
of the chairman in this instance, called for a vote by 
uplifted hands as to who had been elected judge of this 
election by actual count, and he declared that Mr. lyOng 
had a majority of those votes So, now, Mr. Chairman 
and my fellow-citizens, you see that Mr. Long can fairly 
claim that he has been regularly elected judge ; the 
greater semblance of regularity is really on his side. ' ' 

The smile had died out of Slybarr's face ; somebody 
else had it now. 

Mr. Williamson, continuing, said, "But, now, Mr. 
Chairman, for I still recognize 3'ou, Mr. Slybarr, in that 
capacity, what I wish to suggest, while on my feet, is 
this : that in view of the conflicting interests, not to 
say passions, which seem to prevail here to-day, and in 
view of the natural desire that we all have as citizens 
to organize this board with as little confusion and with 
as much credit to ourselves as possible, I propose that 
the two candidates each be allowed to name one of the 
inspectors, and they in turn each choose one of the 
clerks, as is their right under the rules of the party, 
and then recognizing Samuel I^ong as judge, that these 



416 WALTKR GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

men be recognized and declared the officers of this 
election. Now, having made tliis proposition, Mr. 
Chairman, I make it as a motion." 

'Squire Bowers, who had been following Slybarr's 
leadership up to this time, now spoke up and said, 
" Mr. Chairman, I endorse the proposition of the gen- 
tleman. All that any party can desire here is an hon- 
est election. L,et us stop this disgraceful proceeding 
and begin ; I second Mr. Williamson's motion. 

Slybarr looked disapprovingly, but finally he said, 
" The chairman does not think the course is regular, 
and is still of his original opinion ; but in consideration 
of the maker of the motion, and the respect I always 
have for gray hairs, I will entertain it. Will the gen- 
tleman please repeat it ? " 

Mr. Williamson said, "The motion is that 'Squire 
Bowers and Patrick McKnight each be allowed to name 
an inspector, who in turn shall each name one clerk, 
and that these men with Samuel Long as judge shall 
be declared the officers of this election." Slybarr put 
the question. It was carried by a decided majority, no 
one deeming it necessary to call for a division. Sly- 
barr so declared it, and asked the gentlemen to pro- 
ceed to make their selection, at which he stepped down 
from the bench for the first time and proceeded to the 
'Squire to have a consultation with him. A little con- 
sultation on the part of Pat.'s friends, and the names 
were ready. Slybarr, resuming his stand on the bench, 
said, " The following names have been handed to me 
by the respective parties ; for inspectors, Israel Slade 
and Thomas Swave ; for clerks, John Hornbrook and 
Walter Graham. In accordance with the motion just 



THE RESULT. 417 

adopted, I now declare Samuel Long judge, and these 
other gentlemen as the officers of this election." 

The members of the board now assumed their places 
and were soon ready to receive the votes. The excite- 
ment largely subsided, and though no other boisterous 
occurrences happened during the afternoon, the voting 
was spirited and livel}'. Each side had regularly printed 
tickets, Pat.'s delegates being Jacob Graham, John 
Wagner, Hiram Flora and Jackson Matson. Here his 
friends had not been quite so wise as their opponents ; 
though the}' had true friends, they had chosen their 
delegates too much in a bunch from about the village 
But it was evident Slybarr had miscalculated on Mart, 
Bernard's candidacy controlling Flora's vote, as he was 
one of the opposite delegates, and Joseph Bernard him- 
self seemed really to be very indifferent. 

Carriages were despatched to all sections of the town- 
ship to bring in the laggards, the aged, the lame and 
the decrepit. The men from the iron works were 
brought up in almost full force after all, and Slybarr 
seemed to have a private consultation with them all, out 
behind the stable, before they voted. 

At seven o'clock the polls closed, the vote having 
been the largest ever polled at a primary election, 282, 
almost the full Republican vote. An hour later Sl}^- 
barr came out on the porch and announced the result 
to the people, who were still talking excitedly around 
in little groups, that the 'Squire's delegates had been 
elected by a majority of nine. A few minutes later it 
was substantially confirmed by the election officers 
themselves, as they came out, Sam. Long saying the 
majority was from five to nine ; Lightner's majority 
over Graham was only five. 



I 



418 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

The young men withdrew to Miller's shop where 
they held a meeting of condolence, Walter saying, 
"Well, after all our efforts, I suppose we are beaten; 
such is the fate of war." Tom Swave said, " Yes, but 
don't you think with all our vigilance at the board, 
5'our father was in realitj' elected, and possibl}- the 
whole ticket. You see that Slade and Hornbrook are 
both sleight-of-hand fellows as well as ornar}' in every 
other respect. I have no confidence in anything they 
touch. You see a change of such a few votes would 
suffice in this case." 

"No, I hardly think so." 

"No, and of course we could establish nothing of 
that kind," said George Miller. "The thing that dis- 
gusts me most of all is the way some men voted here 
to-day, of whom j'ou might have expected better. 
You see, in the first place, one-half the people are 
afraid to oppose the 'Squire and Slybarr, and then those 
old, dumb, conservative Dutchmen up there, who gen- 
erally never come to the general election, and for 
whom we did more during the war than for any other 
class, and wliom 'Squire Bowers secretly makes fun of, 
would come up here to-day and take their tickets from 
him as obediently as children, and he would smile, 
and joke, too, as graciously as you please. Oh, it's 
disgusting." 

" Oh, they haven't brains enough to slop the hogs," 
said Pat. 

"Yes, they have brains enough to slop the hogs," 
interrupted Tom ; "go look at their hogs, if you want 
proof of that." 

"Well, they had better stick at that, then, than tr^' 
to run politics," said Wils. Long. 



THE RESUI.T. 419 

' ' Yes, not only they. L,ook at another class of 
men," said Dave Miller. "Here is Rev. Mr. Hartly, 
pretends to be such a conscientious man, and claims to 
be the leading minister of this community, do you 
suppose there was any other reason for him voting for 
the 'Squire, except his anxiety to be on the popular 
side, for fear he might lose a little pew rent &c. ? " 

" Oh, he never did amount to anything," said Wal- 
ter. " Ot course, he is our minister and all that, but 
everybody knows he is a man of no moral courage. 
You know he was in favor of compromise before the 
war, and he is afraid now to say whether he is in favor 
of negro suffrage or not." 

"If I were you, Dave, I wouldn't let him perform 
the service at your marriage," said Tom Swave. 

"Well, sir, if Mary is willing not to have him I 
am," said Dave. 

"I don't think she will be hard to persuade," said 
Walter. 

" Whom will you get? " said Sam. Long. 

' ' Little Hirsh, our old chaplain, ' ' said Dave. 

This is enough of the conversation between the 
boys, to give the reader an idea of the disgust and 
disappointment they felt over this defeat. A short 
dialogue between some of the leading spirits on the 
victorious side will serve to portray the feeling with 
them, and will let the light through a very small 
crack, besides ; the listener is supposed to be listening 
at the key-hole of a closed room at McGuire's hotel, 
when he hears Slybarr say, "Well, we got there, all 
the same, anyhow. Didn't I tell you, 'Squire, that if 
they beat us, I would throw up the sponge ? " 

' ' Yes, but they have given us the closest call we 



420 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ever had, and I am afraid we may have made sores 
that will be a long time healing. It ma}- prove a 
costly victory." 

"Nonsense, nonsense," replied Slybarr. "I tell you 
there is nothing succeeds but success. You have got 
your victory, and don't be frightened at it. Yes, I will 
attend to that other matter. I will have Lightner sub- 
stitute for me to-night yet. Now you will excuse me, 
will you 'Squire, Hornbrook wants to see me a minute 
alone." 

The 'Squire arose, went out, and Hornbrook came 
in. The listener, though still supposed to be at the key- 
hole, could not hear all the conversation, as they spoke 
in a whisper or low undertone, but he could catch occa- 
sional sentences here and there, as follows : 

Slybarr — "Well, how was it, anyhow? Did we 
have to make it all on the outside ? " 

Hornbrook — "Not exactly, but it was the tightest 
hold I was ever in. You see, I couldn't confuse them 
more than one of the whole count, and Slade only got 
one ticket read wrong ; that makes two. Then there 
was just a clean little bunch of three that I got trans- 
posed while we were sorting ; that counts for six. 
And so you see that the result would have elected two 
of our men b}' just one majorit}-; one of theirs by two, 
and their other man, Graham, actually had three of a 
majority. See, you can only cut a little on corners 
that way when you are watched. To swap a ballot 
box or make a big change, you must have the whole 
board with you. One realh* honest man at the board 
can block the whole game on you if he suspects any- 
thing." 

•' Slybarr — " Well then, it seems the township really 



THE RESULT. 421 

Was about equally divided. I suppose there is no dis- 
guising the fact, they came mighty near giving us a 
black e3'e." 

Hornbrook — " They have given us a black eye as it 
is. I tell you I never want to be in such a scrape as 
that again for less than a hundred." 

The fairy listener at the key-hole now withdrew, 
being unable to catch another full sentence, their voices 
having sunk into such a low whisper. 






CHAPTER XXIII. 

ANOTHER RESULT. 

^ I ^HE shades of night stole on. The boys wiped the 
-*- perspiration of excitement from their brows, and 
Tom Swave and Dave Miller walked along with Wal- 
ter to his home, where Mr. Williamson w^as still sitting 
in the porch, talking to his father. 

After they had all been seated, Mr. Williamson be- 
gan, "Now it is over, and we have held our own so 
far, all things considered, quite as well as I had hoped 
for. Now I have something to tell you in confidence. 
Mr. Graham and I both have letters in our pockets 
from both Hon. Lee Baldwin and Evans, the editors 
of the Mercury, at Sharwood, requesting us to bring 
Pat. up to the convention on Wednesday, no difference 
what the result was here to-day. They have something 
to suggest to us. They fully believe there is a senti- 
ment strong enough to cany him through, without 
even a delegate to start on. We do not know what it 
ma}^ amount to, but we are going to tr\' it. Of course, 
it is a new departure in political conventions." 

Tom Swave remarked, after hearing him through, 
" Mr. Williamson, I am not without hope in the plan ; 
in fact, I discovered a great many people this after- 
noon, who have come to the conclusion that you are a 
prett}' practical man, after all." 

But I must be brief. Wednesday came. The dele- 
gates to the convention were all in by ten o'clock. 
Earge numbers of them had arrived the night before. 



ANOTHER RESULT. 423 

Mr. Williamson, Mr. Graham and Pat. had been there 
since the morning before. 

Monday's Herald contained a short article, headed, 
"The Racket in Adams," in which it alluded to the un- 
successful effort of a ver}' disorderl}^ element to organize 
the election board at Shocktown, by intimidating honest 
voters, but that it had come out in the end, as the 
Herald had predicted some weeks ago, that energy had 
been wasted on the part of the young braves who thought 
they knew more about politics than their fathers. As 
the gallant 'Squire had secured his delegates by a hand- 
some majority in spite of all the efforts that were made 
to deprive him of them, and of methods that would 
scarcely bear the light, he would be before the conven- 
tion on Wednesday a strong candidate in good shape. 

The next morning, the one on which Pat. and his 
friends arrived on the field, the Mercury contained an 
article something longer than the Herald' s of the day 
before, giving the true facts of the case in regard to the 
organization and election at Shocktown, and concluded 
by saying, that they were creditably informed that the 
one-armed and three-fingered soldier would be pre- 
sented to the convention to-morrow as a candidate for 
the office of Register of Wills, notwithstanding that, 
technically speaking, he has no delegates. "If such is 
the case, we do not see how his claims can be well set 
aside. It would seem on general principles that all the 
delegates ought to be his." 

This produced a little suppressed anxiety among the 
'Squire's friends. Before evening they passed the word 
along the line to ' ' make no disparaging or disrespect- 
ful remarks about Pat., but merely to treat the matter 
with silent contempt, just keep the forces they already 



424 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

had for the 'Squire well in hand until the balloting 
commenced. No person," they said, "had ever heard 
of a man being nominated for an office who could not 
command his own township, and there will be no 
danger in this case, unless we give it undue promi- 
nence by noticing it." 

Meanwhile, Pat. had been introduced to most of the 
delegates, as the)' gathered in, by Baldwin and Evans, 
who had revealed to Messrs. Williamson and Graham 
their plan for nominating Pat., which was about as 
follows : Baldwin was to be re-nominated for Con- 
gress ; that he would be was now unanimouslj^ con- 
ceded. He had more than enough delegates pledged 
for him on the first ballot, and by a little good manage- 
ment and utilization of seTitiment they could make it 
unanimous. 

There was a one-legged soldier named Piper, from 
West Brook township, who was a candidate for Clerk 
of the Sessions. He had the delegates from his town- 
ship in regular order, and every indication of success 
seemed hovering around him. Two other citizens, can- 
didates for the same position, of about equal strength, 
began to see, as they expressed it, that ' ' the one- 
legged soldier was in .their way." 

The one who discovered that fact first, however, was 
the one who had not been slated by the powers that 
were to put the 'Squire through. So, as long as a 
week ago, he had sought Piper's friends and drove a 
bargain with them, that if he would step down and 
out with a graceful declaration in favor of the one- 
legged soldier at the right time, his friends would 
remember him the next term. The reader can easily 
.see that after that Piper's nomination was a foregone 



ANOTHER RESULT. 425 

conclusion. In fact, he was not really necessitated to 
make any such deal, but out of abundant caution he 
did it. 

And in order to make a long story short, Evans, the 
editor of the Mercury, who was consulted about it, 
thought he saw instantly an opportunit}' to drive, at 
the same time, a bargain for Pat. So it came to pass 
that he sent for Jones, one of the rival candidates for 
Register, and after explaining ever3'thing to him, even 
the impossibility of his being nominated this time, got 
him to consent that for the same consideration as that 
given to Jones, he would at the given signal have him- 
self gracefully withdrawn in favor of the ' ' one-legged 
soldier." 

In this way this convention was to be stampeded at 
the proper moment, and the author is inclined to the 
opinion that it was not unlike many other spontaneous 
stampedings of conventions, in that the spontaneity 
was arranged several days previously. 

Their plan even went so far as to have Walter substi- 
tuted as a delegate from the second ward of Sharwood, 
at which place he was now at liberty to claim a resi- 
dence if he wished to second the motion, and on the 
morning of the convention, the Mercury was to come 
out with a full column editorial, which it did, booming 
Pat. and Piper for their respective offices. The edi- 
torial was all that Pat.'s friends could have hoped for 
if Mr. Williamson or Walter had written it themselves. 
It was entitled, " The duty of to-day's convention." It 
was clear, strong and incisive, though it cast no reflec- 
tions upon an}' of the other candidates, it practically 
dared the Republican party to go back on these two 
disabled veterans of the war, unless they were able to 



426 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

show some grave moral blemish against their characters, 
nothing of which had been done. 

The paper was read by every delegate, before the 
hour for the convention to assemble. Fear had almost 
paralyzed ihe 'Squire and his friends; Slybarr had told 
the 'Squire, when he first heard of this plan, as he had 
on the other occasion, that there was "not a damned 
thing in it," adding, that the man was green enough to 
be eaten up by the cows who looked for anybody to 
be nominated in a convention who had no delegates. 
But now an hour before its assembling, he was more 
thoroughly disconcerted than he had ever been in his 
life. He managed, however, to say b}' instruction from 
his superiors, that " We the delegates from Adams town- 
ship, have not been making war at any time against 
Pat. Indeed, we have nothing but the most friendly 
feeling toward him. We are only looking after the 
interests of Bowers for the Senate, and it appears we 
can't undertake to carr}' too much at once." 

At the appointed hour, the Chairman of the County 
Committee called the convention to order. After the 
roll call, the Baldwin-Evans faction had no difficulty 
in securing the organization. The president was not 
so very long in announcing that they were now ready 
to receive the nominations for Congress. 

Whereupon Mr. Boggs, from the fourth ward, of 
Sharwood, arose and said, that "He arose with great 
pleasure, for the purpose of nominating the Hon I^ee 
Baldwin, our present representative for that office, and 
as he had been charged with favoring another candidate 
at one time, he now wished to avail himself of this 
opportunity of denying it, by moving that the nomina- 
tion of Mr. Baldwin be made unanimous, in accordance 



ANOTHER RESULT. 427 

with what he knew was the sentiment of this conven- 
tion, and in accordance with the time honored practice 
of the party, to give every Congressman at least his 
second term." 

The motion was received with cheers. Then Mr. 
Cord, from Oakwood township, arose, and said, "Mr. 
Chairman, I rise for the purpose of seconding the 
motion of the fourth ward, but I rise for more than 
that. I rise for a privileged question at this point. I 
desire that the motion to nominate by acclamation be 
extended to Captain Piper, of Westbrook, for Clerk of 
Quarter Sessions. I, too, as well as my colleagues 
from the city, am anxious to be set right on the matter 
of other candidates. We not only have been charged 
with having another candidate for that office. We 
have one ; we plead guilty to that charge. We came 
here instructed by our constituents to support Mr. 
John Jones, one of the most worthy citizens and most 
steadfast Republicans in the county, for the office of 
Clerk of Quarter Sessions. But arriving at this con- 
vention, we find ourselves confronted by another can- 
didate. And who is this, sir? He is a one-legged 
soldier, a man who has suffered untold miseries for you 
and me, in upholding the flag of our country i;i the 
hour of its peril, of its dire necessity. Sir, it behooves 
us, my fellow-citizens, to repay the debt of gratitude 
we owe to such men when we have it in our power. 
Of course, Mr. President, the delegates from Oakwood 
township, however much they might desire to support 
Piper, would not desert the man for whom they have 
been instructed without good cause, such as I am 
happy to say exists here to-day, in the positive 
refusal of Mr. Jones to be a candidate in opposition to 



428 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

this one-legged soldier. I am instructed by Mr. Jones 
to withdraw his name as a candidate for Clerk of Quar- 
ter Sessions. I am instructed, sir, by Mr. Jones, to 
move that the nomination of Captain Piper be made 
unanimous." 

This speech was received with rapturous applause 
and cries of, " Include the one-armed soldier for Regis 
ter." Mr. Boggs arose, and said, " I will accept the 
gentleman's amendment. I will include it in my orig- 
inal motion." Renewed cries of, "Take the one- 
armed soldier with you," " U.se all alike." Amid the 
general confusion and enthusiasm which now prevailed, 
the figure of a young delegate on the opposite side of 
the hall was seen to rise and address the chair in clear, 
ringing tones. The president was prompt to recognize 
the "gentleman from the second ward of Sharvvood, 
Major Graham." Slybarr, sitting three seats in front 
of him. at the head of his delegates, turned to them, 
and said, " If that young Graham was in hell it would 
be a fine thing for the countr}-," Walter, continuing, 
addressed the convention, as follows : " Mr. President, 
in rising to offer an amendment to the motion before 
the convention, to wit : that Patrick McKnight, of 
Adams township, be included in the motion for Regis- 
ter of Wills, I am but performing a simple duty to 
him, to this convention, to myself, to conscience and 
to God." [Loud applause]. "This convention owes 
it to itself, to the Republican party, to the principles 
which it represents, to the fidelity with which it has 
guarded the interests of humanity everywhere, to the 
gratitude it bears to the soldiers of the republic, who 
preserved a nation and broke four millions of fetters, 
to the nine and twenty fields of carnage through which 



ANOTHER RESULT. 429 

he passed, from Fort Donaldson to Five Forks, in his 
efforts to save that nation and break those chains, to 
nominate him for Register this day. [lyOud and con- 
tinued cheering]. We ask, in the name of that per- 
fect body and vigorous health which he took with him 
to join those ranks, in the name of that empty sleeve, 
that mutilated hand and that shattered constitution 
with which he returned from those ranks, that this 
convention nominate him by acclamation along with 
his disabled comrade, Captain Piper, for an office this 
day." [Loud applause.] 

Brave Pat. McKnight is qualified, or we would not 
have suggested him ; he is worthy, or we would not 
support him ; he is honest, or we would not press him ; 
he is poor, or we would not insist upon him. [Cheers.] 
We want this convention, to-day, while it nominates a 
ticket with our honored representative, Mr. Baldwin, 
at its head, for Congress, to supplement it with two 
veteran soldiers, a one-legged one and a one-armed one, 
and hold them up before the world as the index of our 
principles, as the objects of our munificence, and let 
their wooden leg and empty sleeve speak for us, like 
'Poor Caesar's wounds; with dumb eloquence.' Mr. 
President, I offer the amendment." 

Walter sat down, amid a perfect hurricane of shout- 
ing and cheering, followed by three cheers for "the 
one-armed soldier, Pat. McKnight." As soon as order 
could be restored, Mr. Boggs arose and said he would 
accept the amendment. A dozen voices shouted, "I 
second the motion." The president rapped vigorou.sly 
for order, and then said, " If the chair understands the 
motion, as it now stands, it is this : That Hon. L,ee 
Baldwin, Capt. John Piper and Patrick McKnight be 



430 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

unanimously declared the nominees of this convention, 
for the respective offices of Congress, Clerk of Quarter 
Sessions and Register of Wills. ' ' 

" That is the motion," exclaimed Boggs. 

The president, continuing as rapidly as he could, 
said, "The chair so understands it, and it has been 
already seconded. Is the convention ready for the 
question? [Cries of question, question]. "All in favor 
of the motion," said the president, continuing with 
great promptness, " will please say, aye." "Aye, aye," 
went up from four fifths of the delegates, and all of the 
spectators. The president continued, before the echo 
had died, " Contrary, no. It is agreed to. Those gen- 
tlemen are nominated for those offices. The next busi- 
ness before the convention is the nomination of the 
Legislative ticket." 

The rest you know. The imagination supplies all. 
One little detail, however, should be told. A voice 
from the audience cried out — I never knew exactly 
whose voice it was, but, one thing was certain, it was 
somebody who had a good one, for it was heard all 
over the hall, as it rang out: "Hallo, Slybarr, who 
has got the breath knocked out of them now? " 

Perhaps it ought to be told how the boys gathered 
together in groups, and became a little hilarious after 
the convention. How Mr. Williamson said to them, 
"Don't be too exultant; be as modest in victory as 
you are composed in defeat." How Tom Swave said, 
" Most excellent advice, Mr. Williamson, but still, you 
know, he that laughs last laughs best." 

How the old judge took Walter into his back office, 
and complimented him on his speech, saying, "And 
the thing that pleased me most of all about it was that 



ANOTHER RESULT. 431 

you made no allusion to yourself." How 'Squire 
Bowers looked over the papers the next morning and 
saw on the official ticket as settled, the name of Pat- 
rick McKnight of Adams township for Register, but 
nowhere beheld his own for State Senator. How the 
following Saturday evening when the usual little cir- 
cle was gathered around on Graham's porch, Mr. Wil- 
liamson said, "Well, T wonder if our pradical friends 
think by this time there is something in a seyitiment. 
Yes, my friends, sentiment is stronger than any manip- 
ulations or practices that can be brought against it. 
Wendell Phillips hit the nail squarely on the head, 
when he said, ' The talk of the street is the law of the 
land.' Sentiment tears written constitutions into 
atoms, and batters down garrisons the most strongly 
fortified. It wrenches verdicts from juries, and decrees 
from judges. It makes hypocrites of ministers, and 
cowards of statesmen. It turns dynasties into repub- 
lics, and cuts the heads off of kings. It puts bayonets 
in the hands of soldiers, and Cromwells on the Wool- 
sack. It is just as potent for evil as it is for good. 
When it is right, it is right to use it for a generous pur- 
pose, as in this instance, for Pat., but where it is 
wrong, it must be changed to the right. But he is .a 
brave man who dares to confront it. Sentiment, like 
the scythe, has to go through several processes before 
it is manufactured : first, through the furnace of con- 
viction, then of purpose, and, finally, of necessity, be- 
fore it appears the full-fledged article, which, like the 
scythe, mows down all before it. 

"Yes, my friends, sentiment has made Pat. 
McKnight Register. It has erected monuments at 
Bunker Hill, though our armies were whipped and 



432 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

driven from the field. Sentiment has erected monu- 
ments to Wellington at Waterloo, though he knew 
nothing of how the battle was conducted, and, it is 
sentiment that is rapid!}- rolling Gen. Grant into the 
Presidential chair, though no man in the country is 
authorized to say, to-day, what his political opinions 
are. Sentiment may compel him to pronounce in favor 
of Republicanism, as it compelled us to abolish sla- 
very, or as that necessitj-, which compelled us to put a 
bayonet in the hands of the negro, must yet create a 
sentiment that will put a ballot in his hand, otherwise, 
the liberty which has been granted him in name, will 
prove a nullity in fact." 






CHAPTER XXIV. 

DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 

" And the soul while reaching outward 
For the heavenly message sent, 
On its prison bars is beating, 
Breeding hoi)- discontent. ' ' 

AT the time in which the scene of this chapter is 
- principal!}^ laid, to wit, October, 1867, it seems 
absolutely necessary to take a short backward glance of 
two years and a half to understand ftilly its signifi- 
cance. Simply to turn for a brief moment to a certain 
April day. An historic April day. A day filled with 
cheers and rejoicing ; a da}' filled with despair and 
gloom ; a day of expectations realized ; a day of hopes 
crushed to earth ; a day of unbounded joy ; a day of 
broken hearts ; a prottd day for victor ; sombre day for 
vanquished ; a day on which both sides distinctly read 
' ' the end. ' ' For it was none other than the ninth day 
of April, 1865. It was Appomattox day. 

But it is not of the two great chieftains of that occa- 
sion of which we are to speak. The one young, in the 
prime of life, with his three and forty years resting 
lightly on him, clad simply in a soldier's blouse, with- 
out sword, without epaulettes, save only a small strap 
on his shoulders to indicate who he was The other, 
still erect and commanding under his three score years, 
dressed in full uniform, with trailing sword. The one 
conquerer, the other conqtiered. The one simplicity, 
the other dignity ; but both stoics, the impene- 
19 



434 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

trable, emotionless, both " anxious to shift from 
their shoulders the responsibility of the further useless 
effusion of blood," nor is it the terms of that surrender 
on which we wish to dwell. The world knows them 
by heart; they w^ere not hard to remember. "Lay 
down your arms, officers retain j-our side arms, go 
home on your paroles of honor, obey the laws of the 
country'. Take your horses with j^ou, j^ou will need 
them to put in your spring crops." Then the simple 
unpretentious soldier of fortj^-three went back to his 
command, and the dignified soldier of sixt}^ went back 
to his home, and the world stood amazed. 

Of all this our school children know, but they are 
not so well acquainted wuth a certain other young man 
in his twenty-eighth year, wdio was riding on his 
horse — an old brown horse — toward the rear of the sur- 
rendered army, by virtue of those terms. It was not 
the gallant gray with which he had ridden away from 
his home four years before, but still he was addressed 
as Colonel by about a dozen Confederate soldiers, who 
were standing by the roadside as he left camp. They 
were the remnants of his regiment. They said to him, 
"Colonel, are you leaving us? God bless you, what 
are we to do ? " He halted, turned in his saddle, rest- 
ing one hand upon the sharp withers of his bony steed, 
raising the other up in the air, said, "Yes, mj^ com- 
panions in arms, I am leaving you. Farewell. The 
God of battles has been against us. Oh, my comrades, 
it is true, we have lost, we have lost. You ask me 
what are you to do ? I answer, take home these arms 
and trophies that a generous conqueror has left you ; 
be as peaceful citizens in the conquered South, as you 
have been brave soldiers in your efforts to establish the 



DARKNESS AND IvIGHT. 435 

independent South. And remember, that from this 
day forward and forever, you have but one country, 
one flag — the United States, the stars and stripes. You 
have my blessing. Farewell." 

He turned his face once more toward the South, 
spoke to his horse and rode slowly away. Scars were 
on his bod}^, sorrow was in his heart, emptiness was in 
his pockets, courage in his breast, honor in his soul, 
philosophy in his mind. 

He jogged slowly on for days, subsisting as best he 
could upon the charities of an impoverished people, 
and grazing his horse at intervals on the roadside. 
His hair was unkempt, his beard was shaggy, his 
clothes were soiled, his boots were in holes. 

He reached his home in process of time, where he 
was greeted by sisters, embraced by mother, and shown 
the last letter of his father, who had died at Fort 
Fisher, defending the lost cause. 

The following day he was sitting on the east porch 
of a statel}' mansion. His hair had been trimmed, his 
face was clean shaven, he was clad in citizen's clothes, 
his mind was absorded ii. thought. The mansion at 
which he was resting was Mount Airy. His name was 
Andrew Jackson Clinton. 

He awoke as from a trance, turned to his mother 
and said, " Where is old Uncle Snow? " 

" Out at the barn, I think." 

" Could you have him come here ? " 

"Yes." ' 

An old negro, whose grinning face, white teeth and 
hair explained at once how he had received the appel- 
lation of " Uncle Snow," soon stood before him. 

" Uncle Snow," commenced Clinton, " I wish to talk 



436 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

to you on a matter of business. I have heard the 
good reports of 3'ou, the faithfuhiess with which you 
have stood by my mother and sisters during the time 
both father and I were away, though I beheve all the 
time you sympathized with the North, and prophesied 
that we would lose. I wish to say to you, first of all, 
that 5'our prophecy has been fulfilled. We have been 
conquered, and you are a free man. Your children 
will never again be .sold from you. You need never 
again address an}- man as master. What I want to say 
to you next is, that )-ou know more about how to carry 
on the business of this plantation than any other man 
on it. You have served a long apprenticeship here. 
Humiliating as the fact may be to us, you know more 
about the cultivation of cotton, of potatoes, of tobacco, 
of the manufacturing of tar and rosin, of the cutting 
and sawing of logs than I do, which is simply nothing. 
I was not raised to work, but to be a gentleman. 
I was equipped for the law, when I left here to rear a 
Southern Confederac}'; but, as the situation now 
stands, lawyers are not needed here. Somebody that 
can do a day's work is w^hat is required ; men that can 
hitch a pair of horses to a plow, or manage a cotton- 
gin ; girls who can cook themselves a meal, or wash 
their own dresses, if necessar>\ I am as much the pro- 
prietor of this property now as anyone else. I am 
willing to learn to work, but I need some one to teach 
me ; I will need help to manage this business ; I am 
supposed, under the new order of things, to pay that 
help for their services. We have nothing to pay them 
with. As for money, we have none. 

"Would you be willing Uncle Snow, to remain 
here with us and a few other of the more reliable hands 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 437 

that 5'ou could induce to do the same, if I promise 
you, if my mother promises you, that we will pay 3'ou 
for your services after the crops are raised and sold, or 
that we give you a certain share in them that shall be 
yours, that you can do what you please with? Are 
you willing to trust to that, at least until we can have 
some understanding with some friends of ours in the 
North who own a considerable portion of this planta- 
tion ? ' ' 

Old Uncle Snow bowed, grinned, and said, "All 
perfectly sac'fac'ry, Massa Andrew. Alwa3's did like 
you, and Missus, too, and de gals. I trus' you to 
anyting, Massa Andy ; jes' one ting I like to ax you, 
Massa Andy, You tink dere am any chance for me to 
eber see my daughter? You musn't be too hard on me 
for kinder sidin' a little wid the Norf. I done de bes' 
I could for you. I didn't tell de Linkum sodjers 
eberyting when dey comes along. I hid enough fat 
meat and 'taters back for Missus and de gals." 

" Uncle Snow, if you will forgive my father, now in 
his grave, for having consented to sell your daughter, 
I will forgive you and all your tribe for sympathizing 
with the North, and, if possible, hunt your daughter 
up for you, besides." 

"God bless you, Massa Andy, God bless you." 

" Did Sherman's army destroy everj^thing as effectu- 
ally as on this place, when it came through here." 

" Can't say 'zactly as to dat, Massa Andy. I saved 
'nough back here, though, to keep us from starvin' 
for a couple o' days." 

An old gray haired and gray bearded man who had 
stepped around the corner, and been a listener to 
this dialogue, now interposed his voice, as fol- 



438 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

lows: "Andrew, you are a glorious young man. I 
have been edified with this conversation with an old 
nigger, making him 3'our equal. It's a wonder you 
don't embrace him and call him brother at once. So 
the Southern Confederac)^ is lost, is it ? Slavery is 
abolished, is it? Not much, let me tell you. We have 
soldiers in the field yet. We can keep up a guerilla 
warfare, if nothing more, for years. Haven't we just 
heard that the tyrant, I^incoln, is killed? In fact, 
Andrew, I see you are about as great a fool on this 
question as you ever were." 

Andrew Jackson Clinton turned around on his chair, 
looked at the old man, and said, sarcastically, "Mr. 
Morgan, I have been a great fool on this question, 'tis 
true. The only person I know more consummately so 
is 3'ourself. " He paused, turned his face contemp- 
tuousl}^ as if to saj^, " I do not propose to waste words 
about it." 

Nothing could have maddened old Morgan more 
than this. He accordingly retorted as ironically as he 
could, " Yes, well 3'ou are a fool and a coward besides. 
You are a pretty soldier, aren't you, coming home 
talking that way." 

Clinton turned, sprang to his feet, raised his right 
hand, stretched out his finger, passed his left hand 
through his hair, and exclaimed, " Morgan, who are 
you ? A sneaking, cowardly braggadocio, who wants 
to shield himself behind his years. I have scars on 
my body more than you ever saw regiments. They 
were put there by Yankee bullets. The Southern 
Confederac}' was lyee's army. It has been forced 
to surrender. I do not know what you call it ; 
I call it being whipped. Fools learn only in the school 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 439 

of experience, but you seem too obtuse even for that. 
If the report should prove true that Lincohi has been 
killed, it will be cause for lamentation, not for rejoic- 
ing on the part of the South. The next word 
that you will hear will be that Johnson has surren- 
dered. You have witnessed the last effort that will 
ever be made to dismember the Federal Union for the 
next hundred j^ears. You have seen the last fetter 
fastened on the arms of a negro, be careful lest the 
next cord you feel be not around your own neck. 
Remember you belong to the class who had sworn to 
support the Federal constitution, when you renounced 
it to support the Southern one." 

Old Morgan was as completely suppressed as he had 
been on this same porch four years before and infinitel}^ 
worse scared. His whole manner changing, he said, 
"What do you think those Northern brutes will do 
with us anyhow ? ' ' 

" I do not think the men of the North will do any- 
thing with us, if such men as you will keep your 
mouths shut. Uncle Snow you may go ; I will see you 
again." 

Clinton turned to open a letter just handed to him, 

and the conversation closed. As he unfolded it a five 

dollar greenback disclosed itself The letter read as 

follows : 

Ann Arbor University, Mich., April ii, 1S65. 

Col. A. J. Clinton — Dear Sir : I write this in the mere hope 
that it may reach you, as I have heard nothing from you since 
the evening I left you on the march, with the three hard tacks 
that you gave me from your meagre supply. 

You, of course, have intelligence enough to know that your 
cause is lost. I know that you, with the rest of the Southern 
people must be poor. As a slight token of the personal favor you 



440 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

did me, I take the libert}- of enclosing you this small amount. 
You may call it a loan, if you prefer. I shall call it a gift ; and 
be assured that my own straitened condition at this time is all 
that prevents me from making it larger. I think, further, I can 
say that the people of the North have no vindictive feelings 
toward you. You will simply remember what Abraham Lin- 
coln has intimated in his terms : " The Union is preserved in its 
integrity ; slavery is abolished ; the rest they may write out 
themselves." Hoping that this may reach you, I remain. 

Yours truly, 

Walter Graham. 

Clinton read and re-read the lines, ttirned the five- 
dollar bill in hand, passed it and the letter over to his 
mother and sisters, who were exclaiming, "Whom is 
your letter from, Andrew? Will you let us see it, 
please?" He drew a handkerchief from his pocket, 
wiped a tear from his eye, and remarked, " Mother, we 
can get a few groceries now, at least." 

And now we leave Mount Airy once more in the 
distance, while we turn our glances to the thriving 
town of Sharwood, in the North, in October of 1867. 

Walter Graham had left the office at four o'clock 
and started out for an evening walk. His limbs were 
vigorous ; they sought the exercise, or rather they 
needed it, for after all, there was a slight indefin- 
able feeling of languor connected with them, not alto- 
gether in consonance with that bracing atittunn air; 
or was it a languor of the mind, a slight shade of 
gloom, the first tinge of frost upon the brain, which, 
unlike the frost upon the leaves, had failed to paint it 
in such radiant colors. 

He had now been a lawyer for more than four 
months, and had been bothered as yet with but one 
obtrusive client, an old Irishman, from whom he had 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 441 

least expected a call ; wrote a deed and examined 
some records, and received two dollars. Mr. Martin, 
who officed with the judge had him appointed master 
in a divorce case, for which he had received ten dollars, 
and these two fees up to the middle of October, con- 
stituted his legal earnings. 

True, he had been appointed by the court to defend 
a man charged with horse-stealing, for whom he made 
an able effort, but who was convicted all the same, and 
sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. Even the 
reputation he had acquired as a convention orator 
seemed fading as the sun on the western sky. He 
could not see that it had brought him any clients. 

He had exhausted four sheets of paper explaining to 
Blanch his fortunes with his first client. He had read 
a dozen times over her answer to it, congratulating him 
upon his success, which he well understood had the 
slightest vein of sweetest humor in it, and he some- 
times fancied a little kindly stimulant. 

And yet how could he say he was entirely satisfied 
with his career since he bade her good-by, that June 
evening, in the carriage. 

Now that she had been home almost a week, how 
could he meet her with that hope he had cherished, 
and yet he could not stay away ; he must call on her 
to-morrow. 

Had he been too impatient.? Had he been unwilling 
to work and wait for that success which the old judge 
had told him was sure to be his in at least a reasonable 
degree, if he continued studying and building up char- 
acter? No, he did not believe that this too sensible 
feeling of dejection which seemed to be on his soul, 
that lovely autumn evening, came from that. He was 



442 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

willing to work as hard and as long as any other man, 
to deserve success, if it would onl}' come in the end. 
He could bear discouragement, if he could only be 
honest in the meanwhile ; but oh ! that fearful word 
debt. He was already in its thrall ; he felt its pangs ; 
it was stinging like an adder. He already owed Tom 
Swave thirty dollars and Dave Miller forty more, and 
his last week's board bill unpaid at that. What pro- 
spect had he that he could pay either of them back in 
any reasonable time. " Dave is just starting in life," 
said he, "to be my brother-in-law next week. Of coui'se 
he needs his money. Tom has but very little. His 
father is really poorer than my own. I know he loaned 
me that money simply because he understood that I did 
not like to mention it to my father, and I was in hopes 
that I could have bridged it over somehow and been 
self-sustaining from the start, got along independent of 
father, and dear knows, perhaps he cannot help me 
even if he wishes ; he wants to give Mary a respectable 
set out, and so he should." 

How many different kinds of torture are there, 
thought Walter, as he kept walking on that evening? 
In all his previous agonies, including those of his 
spasmodic loves, and the more permanent one that he 
had never been able to shake off since the evening he 
first looked into those half-crossed eyes, this was the 
first time in his life that he had felt like a thief, in debt 
and notable to pay. "Great God! I must disclose 
every thing to father to-morrow night. I can go home 
and husk corn this fall if nothing else." 

He was reaching the point of desperation ; enforced 
idleness was killins: him. 



i 



DARKNESS AND I,IGHT. 443 

"I don't amount to as much as Miss lycsher," he 
thought; "look what she has done, only a poor girl. 
That weakness which 3'ou know poor father has," as 
she had said to him when he was home on furlough, 
had well nigh done its worst. Sufhce it to say they no 
longer lived in the same house or kept the store as 
they did. Out of the wreck they had saved one thous- 
and dollars, however, that Mrs. Lesher could clearly 
prove was her own, which half paid for the cozy little 
home in which they now lived. Mr. Lesher, still a 
capable man in his way, worked as kind of foreman in 
a tobacco warehouse, at which he earned three hun- 
dred dollars a year. Miss Lesher had gone to teaching 
school, as she had told him and Henry Kerr she 
expected to. Her Normal diploma, her strong activity 
and high reputation as a teacher now commanded a 
position worth five hundred and fift}' dollars per year 
to her, and thus the family lived in their snug little 
home in a remote part of the city. 

All this she told him herself, in his friendly calls 
upon her. Naturally enough, her courage, her intelli- 
gence, her noble example, challenged his admiration, 
and awakened his sympathy, but beyond that line they 
never passed, never entered that more sacred ground. 
She only asked him as a friend. He claimed the privi- 
lege of being that much. 

Thus reflected Walter Graham, as he took his walk 
that evening, far beyond its usual length out into the 
country, coming home through retired streets, up 
through narrow alleys, striking a main thoroughfare 
about a square from his office, at which place he met 
Mr. Martin, who addressed him, " Halloa, young man, 



444 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

you are late. There has been a gentleman waiting in 
the office for you for an hour." 

" Is he there now? " 

' ' I left him there. ' ' 

" Did you tell him to wait ? " 

" Yes, he looks like a client, hurry up." 

Walter did hurry up, with that strange expectancy 
which seizes one when he is hoping for something but 
reall}' expecting nothing. 

He entered the office. It was already early twilight. 
The back office was slightly dark ; the stranger was 
sitting there He arose as Walter entered, extended 
his hand to Walter's cordial "Good evening," and 
replied, " Good evening, sir, do I have the pleasure of 
meeting Major Graham ? " 

Walter held his hand for a few seconds and said, ' ' I 
am sometimes called that. Just step out in the light, 
please ; let me see if I can tell whom I have the pleasure 
of meeting. Well I say it is Col. A. J. Clinton." 

"Right on the first guess," replied Clinton. 

The rest you must imagine, as I know you easily can, 
that he was Walter's guest that evening at the hotel. 
He took him with him for supper, after which they 
walked aroui.d to Miss Lesher's where he met, face to 
face, the lady who had said, "The Southerners were 
nothing but a perfect set of blow-hoins," and she met, 
face to face, the man who had .sent her " his compli- 
ments" for such an opinion. 

How they talked and impressed each other when 
they did meet, must also be left to the imagination. 
But I believe it can be truthfully said, that neither of 
them had any vindictive feeling toward the other ; at 
least Miss Lesher said to him once during the evening. 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 445 

" Why do 3'ou allude to the men we had up here, who 
sympathized with you during the struggle? You don't 
expect me to have as much respect for them as I have 
for you. No, I have more respect for the man who shot 
my brother than for them to-da5\" 

As they walked home together Clinton said to Wal- 
ter, " She is a bright girl, isn't she ? " 

"Very." 

' ' Are you in love with her ? ' ' 

"Not at all." 

" You remember, I suppose, the occasion on which 
I asked you that same question about Miss Reed?" 

"Perfectly well." 

" May I repeat it? Are you in love with her now?" 

" Not at all." 

" Is she in love with any person ?" 

" I think so." 

Clinton seemed to halt for a second, then regained 
his step and walked on in silence for a distance, then 
said, " Shall we go to your office and talk for an hour ? 
It will be more private than at the hotel." 

" Certainly," said Walter, "I was just going to pro- 
pose it when you anticipated me." 

In a few minutes more Walter unlocked the office 
door, turned up the gas, and they both ensconced 
themselves in rocking-chairs by the heater, when Clin- 
ton commenced, "Graham, I am here, not merely in 
the capacity of your friend, but as your client also," 
drawing, as he spoke, a ten-dollar bill from his pocket 
and passing it to Walter. " First here is your retainer. 
What more may come of it I do not know. Perhaps 
the rest of the fee can be made contingent." 

"One moment," interrupted Walter, "before you 



446 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

go further. Is not this merely a device of yours to pay 
back the small favor I sent you as a present ? " 

" Not at all, not at all. You may have that matter 
your own way if you wish ; please allow me to have 
my own way now. You will please call this a retainer 
for the business I am about to lay before you. You 
know I am a lawyer mj^self. " 

Walter took the note, put it in his lean purse, and 
gave his undivided attention to Clinton as he stated 
his case. It was a matter of some importance, and 
consumed about an hour, when Clinton himself re- 
sumed the social side of their conversation as follows : 
"Well, Graham, you see I am one of those hot-blooded 
Southerners who go direct to a subject. lyCt me ask 
5^ou one question further. You say you think Miss 
Reed is in love with somebod}-. Do you think that 
person is in love with her ? " 

" I think their feelings are mutual.'' 

"Who is he?" 

"Will. Morton." 

' ' Are they engaged ? ' ' 

" I tiiink so." 

Clinton paused for an instant, drew his left hand 
through his hair and across his forehead. Walter 
smiled, and said, " Proceed, you will soon be a better 
Yankee than a Southerner. You ask questions well." 

Clinton made an effort and did continue. " If I 
remember Mr. Morton's daughter rightly, she was 
rather a reserved young girl, and yet, with something 
striking in her countenance, was there not ? " 

Walter coughed ; Clinton continued, " She was onh^ 
a young girl then. I take it, she would develop into a 
lovely character." 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 447 

Walter felt himself blushing to the back of his ears, 
and burst out, "One in whom the elements are 
so mixed that you can hold her up to the world and 
sa5% ' This is a woman.' " 

Clinton perceived all, and after as light pause gave 
the subject another sudden turn. "Well, let us plunge 
into politics. Are you going to force negro suffrage 
upon us ? " 

"It looks that way." 

" Are you in favor of it ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" I was in hopes you were not. Are the majority of 
the people of the North in favor of it ? " 

' ' I doubt if they are ' ' 

"Then why are you in favor of it, and why do you 
think it will happen ? " 

" I am in favor of it because I believe it to be jus- 
tice. I believe it will happen because it is the sequence 
to his having fired a musket in defence of the Union, 
and because the imprudence of the Southern people and 
the obstinacy of Andrew Johnson have made it pos- 
sible." How have we been imprudent? And how does 
Andrew Johnson's policy differ from Abraham Lin- 
coln's? Did not he say he had no conditions to impose 
except the integrity of the Union and the abandon- 
ment of slavery? After that, were we not simply to be 
let alone? What has become of his immortal senti- 
ment alread}', ' Malice tow^ard none, charity for all? ' " 

"That .sentiment is as immortal as ever," replied 
Walter, but Abraham Lincoln also said, 'firmne.ss in 
the right as God gives us to know the right.' The 
conditions are already different from what they were 
supposed to be even then. Is the government not 



448 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

letting you alone ? Is not the head of the Confederacy 
out on bail, destined never to be tried ? Has not your 
late vice-president written a constitutional argument in 
favor of secession? Has not Robert E. Lee retired in 
peace to his plantation, and no man in America dare 
touch a hair of his head ? In short, is not universal 
amnesty just as sure to come as negro suffrage? Tell 
me this, have 3'ou an organization in the South known 
as the Ku-Klux-Klan ? " "I never saw it," replied 
Clinton. They both paused. Clinton continued, "Then 
you are in favor of universal amnesty, are you, as well 
as negro suffrage ? ' ' 

" Yes sir." 

" That you intend as a kind of antidote, do you, to 
sugar coat the pill ? Tell me this, how am I to get my 
friend's disabilities removed, and how is he to be 
admitted to his seat in Congress? " 

"You must see the man who is bossing the job 
about that." 

"Who is he? " 

"Thad. Stevens." 

" He is a vindictive old fellow, is he not? " 

" Not at all, sir, the people of the South simply do 
not understand him. I am told he will giv^e his last 
ten cents to a poor rebel in distress to-day." 

" Yes, but you see this man destroyed his ironworks 
at Gettysburg. The fact of the matter is, my old regi- 
ment was under his command at the time." 

" I do not believe even that will affect the case, if 
he conceives it one of merit." 

Walter continued, " Come Clinton, let us go to bed, 
and let the angels of peace watch over both the people 
of the North and the people of the South." 



DARKNESS AND LIGHT. 449 

" Amen," said Clinton, as he grasped his hand, and 
these men but yesterday the most intrepid of combatants, 
now the most cordial of friends, walked around to the 
hotel together, Walter remarking as they proceeded, 
"So then, everything is understood ; you will be with 
us on Thursday at the wedding." 

" I will be there if possible." 

They each retired his room, Walter saying to him- 
self as he closed the door: "Well, now to-morrow 
I will pay up my board bill, and have a few dollars left 
for the wedding. Somehow, I still had an abiding faith 
that something would come. How beautiful it is to 
feel that it has not been destroyed ; and here is Clinton's 
old letter acknowledging my favor at the close of the 
war, in which I read, ' Your letter fell like a sunbeam 
through the clouds that enveloped our home. And 
now even I think I see a light shining in the distance, 
where but five hours ago I thought it was midnight.' " 




CHAPTER XXV. 

THE FIRST REUIVIOM. 

ON the following Thursda)- Walter was at home 
at his sister's wedding. The bride and groom 
were clad in good clothes, neat, plain, unpretentious ; 
happ3^ vigorous in action, robust in health and mated 
b}^ nature. The company was informal and easy to 
the highest degree. It con.sisted not only of Dave's 
old schoolmates, who had been in the arm}^ but many 
of those who had not. High. Bowers and Ben., 
Wilse lyong, Mart. Bernard and sisters. It seemed 
already to be a genuine burial of the factional strife 
engendered by Pat.'s campaign, and a cordial smoking 
of the pipe of peace. 

Wendell Phillips Bolton and his two sisters, Hannah 
and Alice, were of the companj-. Miss Lesher had 
slipped away a day to be present. The Mansdale 
people consisted of Will. Morton and Blanch, Cousin 
Ida and Emma Reed ; Mr. Wagner, Prof Baker, Mr. 
Williamson and their wives were there, of course, and 
Clinton was able to make the connection. Mr. Hartly 
was there in his official capacity. Of course, no such 
personal pique as had been intimated prevailed against 
him on this occasion. And besides, his own good 
taste had suggested that it would be fitting that Mr. 
Hirsh should at least assist in the process of welding 
these two lives into one. 

As the companj^ was seated around the large table 
after the dinner was well nigh over, Prof. Baker 



THK FIRST REUNION. 451 

remarked, " Behold, we have Andrew Jackson Clinton 
at one end of the table and Wendell Philips Bolton at 
the other. In fact, in taking a survey of this company, 
it looks about as much like a reunion as a wedding." 

"This is the first reunion of your boys and girls. 
Professor, of the old soldiers and the antagonistic ele- 
ments forming a new Union," said Mr. Williamson. 
' ' I think it would be fitting for Andrew Jackson Clin- 
ton to respond to the toast, "The New Union." 

The company clapped their hands, and said, " Happy 
thought ; no backing out, Clinton." 

Clinton looked over the field, smiled on the radiant 
faces that were smiling' on him, arose and said : 

' ' 'The New Union ! By the Eternal, it must and shall 
be preserved.' The union of Miller and Graham, this 
da}- framed under this hospitable roof, and sanctified by 
God, we know is fraternal and will endure to the end. 
L,et the new Union of the States be preserved in a peace, 
a fraternity and prosperity commensurate with the 
fire, the blood and the death with which the old Union 
was preserved. 

" My friends, if there are an}- persons in my section 
who doubt whether the Union has been preserved, let 
me assure you, I am not one of them. There is a his- 
tory stretching over four years of recorded time, you 
may call it what you please, there is nought in the 
name, but it reaches from Sumter to Appomattox. It 
attests that the Union has been preserved. Those who 
cannot so read it are stone blind, for the pen was a 
sword, and the ink was blood that recorded it, and 
there it stands in burning letters of red. The Union 
is preserved, slavery is abolished. Friends of the 
North, soldiers of the Union army, with that are you 



452 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

not content ? It was all \^ou asked, more than 5'ou con- 
tended for in the beginning. Do you insist on negro 
equality ? Is it fair that you add that to your conquest ? 
I await the answer." 

Clinton sat down amid silence, but not a painful one. 
All eyes turned instinctively to Mr. Williamson, but 
the old man said, " It is not my day; it belongs to the 
young folks. Let Wendell P. Bolton resf)ond to the 
toast, the fifteenth amendment." 

The boys clapped, the girls smiled, and Bolton rose 
and said, "My friends, I feel that my friend at the 
other end of the table and myself are the victims of 
names. That is what there is in a name to-day. The 
name my friend bears has been rendered illustrious 
because it said, ' the Union must and shall be pre- 
served.' Mine was made odious because it said, 'dis- 
solution is my method, dissolution is my cure. I would 
take down the dam of the Union and let loose the 
torrent of God's waterworks, and like all other cur- 
rents, it will clear a channel for itself.' 

" What motive had he for dissolution in the abstract? 
What channel did he wish to clear? I take it that it 
was the channel of equality, something in the nature 
of the fifteenth amendment. Who had turned the 
greater somersault, the followers of Jackson or Wen- 
dell Phillips, when the morning after the lurid fire 
broke forth from Sumter's walls, he shook the stais 
and stripes before the multitude in Faneuil Hall and 
said, ' proclaim liberty through all the land, to all the 
inhabitants thereof!' Who was he then, the fanatic 
of the past or the seer of the present, the philosopher 
of reform, the prophet of freedom, the proclaimer of 
the new dispensation ? The man who did not care to 



THE FIRST REUNION. 453 

inquire about intentions, but could foresee results. 
The man who had read history with his e3'es and not 
with prejudices. Perhaps it is my turn now to enjoy 
a little popularity with my name. All this I suppose 
is what we call a revolution, and, I take it, will ulti- 
mately carry the fifteenth amendment with it, not 
with malice to our friends of the South, but with jus- 
tice to the negro." 

"Sit down, you are through," exclaimed George 
Miller, "No man is to speak over three minutes." 

"Good," said Tom Swave, "always stick to the 
maxim, 'quit when you are done.' Ben Wade says, 
the man who can't saj' all he has to sa}- in five minutes, 
is not fit to be in the Senate." 

The boys laughed, and the girls smiled charmingly. 
Mr. Williamson remarking, ' ' The next toast will be 
from Thomas Swave. Gettj'sburg. " 

Tom arose and said, " My friends, you do me an in- 
justice. My toast implies that I should speak of my- 
self, but I will not. Gett3'sburg is the centre of the 
greatest galaxy on the canopy of war, which is made up 
of the five hundred engagements of the American 
conflict, an imperishable star in the diadem of battles ; 
the twin sister of Mcksburg ; the counterpart of Shiloh; 
the sequence to Harper's Ferry ; the tidal wave 
of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville ; the prelude 
to Appomattox ; the Marathon of modern civilization ; 
the Waterloo of America. Gettysburg is immortality. 
Victor Hugo says, ' Waterloo bears divine right on its 
crupper. ' Divine right of what ? Does he mean kings f 
If so, it was right to place it upon the crupper. Then 
the analogy was complete, for the stay of the 
Bourbons in France after Waterloo was short. But 



454 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Gettysburg has a prouder record. She bears the 
equalit}^ of man on her brow-band. When Robert 
Edmunds I^ee got down from that seminary tower, on 
the third day of July, 1863, and called his shattered 
ranks to rest, the Emancipation Proclamation became 
a living reality. When he turned from that field, leav- 
ing thirt}' thousand dead and djang Confederate sol- 
diers behind, and led his scarred columns back through 
the mountain gaps to old Virginia, negro suffrage fol- 
lowed in his wake. Wellington said he had a detest- 
able army at Waterloo. Think of Aleade saying that 
at Gettysburg; those thirteen dead horses lying around 
his headquarters would have been supplemented by a 
dead commanding general." 

"Sit down," cried Will. Morton, "you are off the 
subject; you are on dead horses." "The subject is 
Gettysburg, Revolution and all that follows," said 
Walter. 

"Revolution! that is a hard thing to define," said 
Prof Baker. 

"Yes, but the boys have been doing well, "said Mr. 
Williamson. "Suppose we let them try it." The 
next toast is Revolution, Walter Graham. Meanwhile, 
the company had been enjoying themselves hugely, 
the men commenting wisely and the girls smiling 
thoughtfully. Blanch sitting between Sue and Miss 
Eesher remarked, " I wish thej^ would let them go on 
without interuption, I am so interested." 

The two quaker cousins, Hannah and Alice Bolton, 
sent proud glances up the table to their captain brother; 
Sue, Miss Lesher, Cousin Ida and Emma Reed all 
exclaimed, ' ' Proceed with the toasts, we are all enrap- 
tured." 



THE FIRST REUNION. 455 

Clinton cast furtive glances down both sides of the 
table as Walter arose and said, "Revolution! What 
is that.? The things that never go backwards ; the 
turning of the world upside down ; the standing of 
society on its head ; the something that rides on des- 
tiny's wings; that which succeeds. .A dozen men 
fighting in the street is a mob ; tw^enty men resisting 
the police is a riot ; a regiment under a recognized 
leader, but without uniform, and fighting the consti- 
tuted authorities with old shot-guns and rifles, that is 
insurrection ; ten regiments, disciplined, uniformed, 
armed with muskets and obeying orders from a general 
commander, that is rebellion. Our forefathers suc- 
ceeded against old England, hence it was revolution. 
Our friends in the South failed, hence it was rebellion. 
How close the distinction, and yet how great, 'Tis 
the difference between success and defeat. Victor Hugo 
says, ' If you want to know what revolution is, call it 
progress ; if you want to know what progress is call it 
to-morrow^' Then, to-morrow% I suppose, we will have 
negro suffrage. True, indeed, in the beginning we aimed 
not at it, but there is a divinity that shapes the ends 
of nations as well as of individuals. When that col- 
ored brigade came back from their heroic charge on 
Fort Wagner, all bleeding and rent, negro suffrage 
was born. Every colored soldier lying dead on that 
ground stood for ten thousand converts. Every drop 
of colored blood that moistened the soil of South Caro- 
lina that day is crying out for a negro ballot. Shall 
that prayer be denied ? Revolution answers, no. 
When Appomattox day had come, one sane man in 
New York wended his way up to the editorial sanc- 
tum of the Tribune building and proclaimed to the 
crazy multitude of rejoicers the basis of reconstruction, 



456 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

' Universal amnesty, impartial suffrages ; revolution 
shall embrace his maxim. Why? Because it is the 
revolution of an American and not of a French people." 

" Sit down," cried Mart. Bernard, " you are alluding 
to old Greeley," "the man that bailed Jeff. Davis," 
said Ben. Bowers. " How is it Mr. Williamson," said 
George Miller; "it bothers some of us that were in 
Andersonville to swallow it." "Oh, as a matter of 
sentiment, we would have preferred some one else to 
have done the bailing. As a matter of principle I guess 
we will have to stand b}' it." 

' ' Didn't I tell you, you didn't know your own man ?" 
said Jake Boyle. 

"All right," responded George ; " whatever you say, 
Mr. Williamson, we will stand by." 

"The next toast shall be the Bride and Groom, by 
Professor Baker," said Will. Morton. 

' ' One moment, ' ' said Sue, as she rapped on the table, 
" do you know it is time the bride and groom were stir- 
ring, if they are going to take their bridal trip on the 
4.30 train." "All right," said the Professor, "we can 
make it short, " God Bless the Bride and Groom." 

The whole company responded with a hearty 
' 'Amen. ' ' It need onl}^ be said here that God did bless the 
bride and groom, through a prosperous and happy life. 
And the happy bustle and excitement incident to get- 
ting them to the station sent more thrills of joy through 
hearts than need be mentioned. Briefly to say, the 
carriages are at the door. Hurry in the bride and 
groom, jump in George and Sue, Walter and your 
quaker kinswoman, Hannah, Joe and Beckie; still there 
are carriages left. Give them a good send off to the 
depot. Here Tom, Blanch, get in this buggy. Where 



THE FIRST REUNION. 457 

is Clinton ? He went out at the other door. No, he 
came out this way. Miss Lesher is laughing and talk- 
ing with the rest. She draws back a little from the 
crowd ; did she do it half wishing to evade somebody ? 
Did Clinton go the other way not wishing to attract 
attention ? At all events they two would meet right at 
the end of the porch, while merry voices are still 
exclaiming, "Still another buggy here, Mr. Clinton, 
Miss Lesher, occupj' this vehicle, help to swell the 
crowd." So the procession starts. No difference 
which door you come out at Clinton, Blanch, Tom, 
Walter, all the results will be the same. Take which 
path you ma}^ the invisible form of destiny will stretch 
herself across it. 




S 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

GETTYSBrRG OR COLD HARBOR. 

NOVEMBER followed October, and bleak December 
had made her appearance. Tom Swave looked 
out of his father's store window, across the country 
and up towards the Graham home ; but the trees were 
brown and bare ; the}' no longer bore the varied hues 
they did six weeks before when he rode from the wed- 
ding with Blanch Morton over to the depot. The polit- 
ical horizon was also a little blustery. He heard rum- 
blings from Washington which sounded not very 
unlike those which came up from the South seven 
years before. Of course, ttie air was not pregnant 
with such frightful issues as in the winter of 1 860-61, 
but the situation was exciting enough. Andrew John- 
son had removed Edwin M. Stanton from his position 
as Secretary of War in open defiance of the Tenure of 
Office Act. Such legislation, it was contended, was a 
bold, unconstitutional usurpation of the President's 
powers. But would a Republican Congress allow the 
President to boldly set their laws at defiance in that way 
They had passed the law for the express purpose of 
checkmating his apostac}- in the great march of recon- 
struction. The challenge was to be accepted. Con- 
gress had already convened and the House of Repre- 
sentatives was to file articles of impeachment, for the 
first time in our history against a President of the 
United States. The Senate had already appointed a 



GETTYSBURG OR COLD HARBOR. 459 

committee to wait upon General Grant to ascertain 
whether in the event of a crisis he would stand by a 
two-thirds majority of Congress, or with the executive; 
the situation was indeed critical. But, notwithstand- 
ing all that, Tom Swave's soul was tempest-tossed 
from another source that da}-. 

He had resolved to go into business with his father 
and lead a useful life. He had no difficulty in securing 
his pension and had been clothing himself snugly out of 
it, and helping his father about the store generally for 
his board ; but altogether he had been living, since he 
returned from the arm}-, rather an aimless and indo- 
lent life, and candor would have compelled him to 
admit that it was not altogether unpleasant to his feel- 
ings. But he was conscious also of the fact that he 
had powers and resources capable of bearing his share 
of weight in the community, and conscience enough to 
tell him at times that he should do so ; in short, he 
had now resolved to make a man of himself. 

With this knowledge of his own powers, and with 
this virtuous resolution in his mind, he made his way 
that cold December evening to Mortons'. 

What took him there, do you ask ? The same irre- 
sistible thought which had taken him there that 
bright June day in 1864. What warrant had he for 
his action, do you ask? The fact that Blanch had 
always treated him with the greatest kindness, the fact 
that she had said on the day of the wedding to him, 
Walter and Mr. Bolton, as she smiled her unmistakable 
smile, "Oh, Cousin Ida and I have ignored society. 
We are not going to do anything this winter but enjo)^ 
ourselves at home, study Shakespeare and Johnson, 
read novels and the magazines, and play euchre with 



460 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

you, Miss Emma and Miss Deaver, when you drop 
in," — the fact that she said to him one evening, when 
he was there, half patronizingly, half humorously, 
" Gettysburg is immortality." The fact that when he 
replied to her, half twittingly, "Oh, you think Wal- 
ter's was the best," she replied, "Oh, I think they 
were all superb, but you don't suppose I think any- 
thing could exceed immortality," and then, continuing, 
with a smile and a twinkle of merriment, ' 'you ought 
to ask Cousin Ida which she thinks was the best." 
The fact that he was really quite handsome, capable, 
intelligent, and an agreeable conversationalist ; the 
fact in short, that Blanch Morton's countenance always 
did light up a little when she met him at the door, 
are the facts which warranted him in going over to 
Mansdale the night now in question. 

Of course, he is not supposed to have heard Aunt 
Mar\' sa}^ to Mr. Morton one evening, in response to his 
rather solicitious inquiry, " Well, of course, Edward, I 
am not a mind-reader, and can't answer these ques- 
tions, certainly; and, indeed, from ostensible appear- 
ances, you might suppose sometimes that she really 
enjo3'S the society of Tom Swave better than that of 
any other man, and indeed he is very agreeable in 
many ways ; but then, as I said, I have my other 
impression, because Blanch has only an open, sincere 
nature. She never means to flirt." 

Of course, he did not hear Mr. Morton reply, "Yes, 
I know all that, how true a character she really is ; and 
while I will try to use philosophy and suppress every 
emotion, to laj^ no obstacle in the waj^ of her true hap- 
piness, having the implicit confidence I do have in her 



i 



GETTYSBURG OR COI.D HARBOR. 461 

good taste and judgment, nevertheless, I can't help 
hoping it may result in a certain -way." 

Of course, he could not look into all of Blanch Mor- 
ton's secret experiences and feelings and know that 
she had had to positively insult Mr. Shaw and his 
flowing mustache to get rid of him ; that, while young 
Mr. Herr had wealth, social standing and culture, he 
was rather too effeminate in his nature, and lacking to 
some extent that individuality of character necessar\^ 
to challenge her highest admiration ; that Dr. Sher- 
man, scholar and gentleman that he was, with his 
high reputation for probity and uprightness, with all 
his bright prospects of success, had still a latent streak 
of selfishness nestled down in his heart ; a little cor- 
ner that was still too cold to fire Blanch Morton's love. 

Though he could not positively know all these 
things yet so far as his own powers of observation and 
penetration went, he did have a kind of presentiment 
that night, that unless Walter Graham had made 
known his mind to her, Blanch Morton was untram- 
meled by any embarassing alliances. Thus it was that 
he was seated at the table that December night, with 
her and Ida. They all seemed in their happiest mood ; 
he had been reading the papers to them and discussing 
the political situation. In . due time those subjects 
became exhausted, when Ida said, cheerfully, " L,et us 
have a game of euchre." "All right," said Blanch, 
"Aunt Mary and I will play you and Tom." They 
were soon .seated around the table, in high glee, when 
it came to pass that, as Tom was drawing in a trick, 
Blanch reached over to the cards, and turning them 
up, said, " Let me see what that was, Tom, you didn't 
play your spade then." 



462 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" Don't be looking at the cards after they are drawn 
in; keep your hand away or I will kiss it," exclaimed 
Tom, sportively, grasping it with his own and laying 
at the next instant his lips involuntarily upon it. 

" Behave yourself," said Blanch, " I want to see if 
you were cheating," and proceeded with the game 
with perfect composure. 

Blanch Morton despised a prude as thoroughly as 
she did a man who, by word or deed, disclosed an un- 
chaste thought. The space between the sublime and 
the ridiculous is measured by a step, though it takes a 
great mind to see it ; the space between squeamishness 
and true modesty is still more subtle, and only the 
truly virtuous can perceive it. Where that line was, 
Blanch Morton knew as well as she knew her alpha- 
bet ; not from any knowledge she had ever acquired 
from books, but from what she had received direct from 
God. She knew by instinct that the man trod not the 
earth who would dare to take an}^ improper liberty 
with her, and yet she understood but partly that the 
harmless act that poor Tom Swave had just performed 
was because he was in the hands of a power greater 
than himself; she understood not that, but he did. 
The smile of unfeigned innocence with which she had 
responded to the act was- the smile of heaven. Her 
demeanor through that little act was simply of that 
character which defies description. 

Tom played out the balance of the evening, but his 
powers as a player were gone ; his mind was discon- 
certed, his thoughts were slow, he would have to be 
reminded when to play, would forget what was trump, 
and lost every time. He bade good-bye both cheer- 
fully and dreamil}^, and started for home. His horse 



GETTYSBURG OR COLD HARBOR. 463 

found the way while he dreamed. When he arrived at 
his home he sat for an hour in the arm-chair, looking 
into the coals, whose warm light shone through the 
glass. He went to bed, but closed not his eyes in 
sleep until he heard the boy below, raking the fire in 
the stove. He then fell into a nap and was called an 
hour later to come to breakfast. He arose, rubbed his 
eyes and said mentally, " I have seen only, in my nap, 
that hand, with its perfect symmetry, with that heavy 
diamond ring, and that plain gold one ; no other 
jewelry. Feel my lips ; are they perfumed ? I know 
they have been sanctified. They have touched that 
which is holy and consecrated. I must hear from 
Blanch's hand. I hope I have not injured it ; that I 
have left no damning blotch upon it that will not rub 
out. No, I have no fear of that, nothing can soil her ; 
but just think she actually allowed my unworthy lips 
to touch it. What am I ? What have I ? I am a 
man with soul and feelings like the rest of humanity 
at least ; I have little to be proud of, to be sure, but 
Blanch herself, reminds me that I have Gettysburg.. 
Yes, I have that (looking down at his lame knee), but 
that will not get me bread, besides it is but vanity 
which refers to it. Still, I must admit, I see already a 
magic charm in the word Gettysburg, as it passed down 
the ages. But hold, I hear another name, 'tis Cold 
Harbor. It ma}^ not thunder so loud in the index, but 
I read between its blood-red letters another name, 'tis 
Walter Graham, my first love. I just now dreamed 
that he too was kissing that hand. Great God ! Why 
is it that we thus confront each other?" 

He dressed himself with an effort, went down stairs, 
forced a few bites of breakfast into his stomach, and 



464 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

dreamed the day away. At half-past eight he could have 
been found at Morton's, where he had been twenty-four 
hours before. He was seated on the sofa with Blanch, 
who was naturally a little surprised at his presenting 
himself so soon after his previous visit. At the very 
first opportunity, when the other members of the family 
had transiently stepped out for something, leaving 
them alone, he turned toward her, took her by the 
hand, and said, " Blanch, I know you are surprised at 
my being here to-night." Blanch turned her face 
towards his, looked into it, and saw in an instant what 
was coming. 

The reader may perhaps have perceived by this time 
that Blanch Morton was not entirely a novice to such 
experiences; but, nevertheless, she could look now into 
the face of this applicant, as she had into that of all 
others and say before God she was innocent of all 
coquetry, but if the truth must be told, in this instance, 
she was not entirely surprised. Nay, since there is 
nothing to be withheld, it ma}' as well be admitted 
her hand trembled a little. But the look she was giving 
to Tom vSwave then was the look of deepest pity, and 
pity is not love. How near it comes to that line we 
shall not now attempt to define. It may have been near 
enough to deceive Tom for the first instant after his 
first sentence. At all events she did not stop him and 
he proceeded. 

" Blanch, I said I knew j^ou were surprised at my 
coming here to-night, but now do I see that you under- 
stand all ? L,et me be brief, for I am choking. Blanch, 
may I ever hope to address you b}^ the sacred name of 
wife ?" 

Blanch looked at him for another minute with a 
steadfast sympathy, while he still held her hand, which 



GETTYSBURG OR COLD HARBOR. 465 

he was still unable to interpret until after she had 
spoken her first word, at which instant he saw that he 
was rejected, but that the blow was to be dealt with a 
gentleness, a sweetness, a S3mipath5^ that he could 
have hoped would last forever. 

" Tom," she said, " please forgive me if I have ever 
done anything wrong in all our pleasant acquaintance, 
anything calculated to mislead j-ou in placing your 
afiections where they now are, and believe me that I 
do most sincerely pity j'ou, but 3'ou, good Tom, the 
friend of Walter Graham, would not wish me to come 
to you for pity's sake alone." 

Tom dropped his head for a moment, looked up 
again, and said, "Blanch, angels could not have cast 
me off more sweeth', nor God himself have given a 
better reason for it. No, pity can never supplant love. 
Blanch, j-ou love Walter Graham ; he loves you ; has 
he ever made it known to j'ou ?" 

Blanch shook with emotion and managed to replj^, 
" He never has by word." 

"He will soon," responded Tom, and Blanch's 
emotion increased. The}^ sat in silence in that posi- 
tion for two minutes. He then arose, still holding her 
hand in his ; she arose with him; he looked once 
more into her ej^es ; she seemed more calm ; he said, 
" Blanch, pardon me for what I have done, it may be a 
long time before I see you again, perhaps never. It 
may be that great distance will separate me from 5'ou 
and Walter, but before I leave I am going to ask one 
more privilege," and laying his two hands upon her 
two cheeks, he bent his head and impressed a kiss on 
her lips, saying, "I know Walter will not be jealous 



466 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

of just one, you have thousands left for him ; good-by. 
You both have my blessing." 

He had turned and was almost at the door, when 
she arrested his progress, as follows: "Tom, promise 
me one thing, before you go ; that if ever you are in 
distress, ever suffering for a friend, you will let me 
know." 

"You have my promise, good-by," and he passed 
out at the door. A minute later Aunt Mary entered 
the room, saying, " Where is Tom ? " 

"He has gone, he said good by ; will you excuse 
me, Aunt Mary, if I retire?" And so saying, she 
passed up to her room. 

Tom proceeded to the depot and waited for the eleven 
p. M. train to Sharwood. In the morning, when Wal- 
ter Graham rose, he found a letter shoved under his 
chamber door. As he picked it up he recognized the 
writing, but there was no postmark ; it had not come 
through the mail. Opening it, he read as follows : 

Dear Walter: — You are wanted at Morton's to-night, without 
fail. It is I who goes West. Yours very truly, 

Tom. 

All day Walter's mind dwelt on that letter and what 
it meant. Suffice it to say, that at exactly eight o'clock 
that night he was in Morton's parlor. 

At nine o'clock he knew that Blanch Morton was to 
be his wife. He now understood what that letter 
meant. He told Blanch all about it. She told him 
everything about Tom's visit, concealing nothing. 
Their joy was unbounded ; it is useless to describe it ; 
you have all grown weary of such descriptions ; you 
have heard them for the thousandth time, and yet the 
next author goes right on describing them again, just 



GETTYSBURG OR COLD HARBOR. 467 

as if it had never been done before, and, strange to say, 
he still finds people who will read that part of his 
book ; but this much we must be allowed to say in this 
instance : God's will had been done. There had been 
no miscarriage in heaven's decree. You have doubt- 
less, long since, formed your own opinion as to the 
fitness of this marriage, all the conditions attending it, 
age, size, health, disposition, education, cast of mind, 
home culture, social standing, family position, recipro- 
city of thought, mutuality of feeling, unity of pur- 
pose, lack of jealousy, fullness of trust, love. In 
short, we have only to say, that if this union does not 
come out all right, we may as well all of us join the 
ranks of those who inquire, " Is marriage a failure? " 
One thing further about it ; I know you will allow me 
to say, that same evening after the first raptures were 
over, and they were sitting alone around the table 
together, both smiled sadly as they said, " Poor Tom, 
we must always treat him kindly ; thank God no other 
person but we two know his secret." As they w^ere 
still left alone for considerable time, Mr. Morton, hav- 
ing stepped into the library for a while to enjoy his 
cigar, and then retired ; Will and Ida having gone out 
to see Miss Emma, partly from sociability, and partly 
on business, and Aunt Mary being engaged for a con- 
siderable time in the dining-room, they continued 
without interruption in their ecstasy. Blanch was 
leaning over Walter's arm writing playfully her name 
on a scrap of paper, when Walter said, "Why do you 
spell your name without the final e ; most people spell 
it that way." 

" Don't you know why that is ? " 

"No." 



468 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Why, because ray iiarae is to have just as many 
letters in it as yours ; look here, don't you see," as she 
wrote them down, Blanch, Walter, " and the last one is 
the same, Graham ; don't you see the hand of God is 
in it,*' she said bewitchingl}'. 

"Well I do say," said Walter, "how long have you 
been thinking of that ? ' ' 

"Oh, never mind, wait till I show you something 
else you never thought of," and she wrote down on the 
paper, Blanch Mortoyi, Blanch Graham; "don't you see 
my new name is just as long as my old one, and just 
as long as yours ; each contains an even dozen of let- 
ters in the total, and each an even half dozen in each 
separate name." 

"You simple girl, if some other fellow had come 
in first with whom that coincident had happened, 
then I would have been left." 

" Oh, no ; in that case I would have been very philo- 
sophical and have had no superstitions. How it 
pleases us to be superstitious when we want to be; 
besides, let me see if I did not pass a name of the same 
length" — Thomas Swave. 

"No," said Walter, after she had written it out, " it 
won't quite reach; see, you are a little superstitious, 
after all." " Poor Tom," said Blanch, "just one letter 
too short," as she smiled her inimitable smile, and 
rising to her feet, at the same time saying, " Where is 
that little scar above youx eyebrow?" And turning 
his head toward the light, so she could see it, laid her 
lips upon it, whispering, "Missionary Ridge;" then, 
raising her voice a little, she continued, " Did you ever 
see me looking at that when j-ou were not looking.^ " 

"No; I never saw 3'ou looking at it, when I was 



GETTYSBURG OR COLT) HARBOR. 469 

not looking," and they both laughed in each other's 
eyes, Walter saying, "Here, come, we must behave 
ourselves; Aunt Mary will be in directly; she will 
Missionary Ridge us." 

"Oh, I don't care if she does ; I am going to tell her 
and father everj'thing in the morning, anyhow." 

At this time Aunt Mary did pass through the hall, 
but it was a very slight disturbance she made of this 
bliss. She simplj' paused at the door and said, ' ' Blanch, 
when you come to bed, just let the light burn low in 
the hall for Will and Ida ; the dead-latch is all right," 
and she passed upstairs. 

In the morning the Morton famil}^ were about ready 
to be seated at the breakfast table, when Blanch came 
down, a little late. As she entered the room, her 
father looked up at her half concerned, half humor 
ously, and wholly in kindness, as he said, "Well, 
Blanch, who is ahead this morning, Gettysburg or 
Cold Harbor?" 

Blanch halted for a second, looked at him, then 
rushed into his arms, saying, "Cold Harbor, father; it 
is decided." 

He clasped her to his bosom, exclaiming, " I am so 
glad you have chosen well." 

" I told you, Edward, I thought it would come all 
right," said Aunt Mary. 

" Hurrah for Cold Harbor," said Will., throwing up 
his hat. 

' ' Yes, give us a kiss all around for Cold Harbor, ' ' 
said Cousin Ida. " Begin wnth j^our father," who was 
alread}^ taking his. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

SUJ? I 'E ) -IXG THE EI ELD. 

^nr^EN 3'ears have passed away since the night we left 
-*- Walter Graham sitting in Mortons' parlor with 
Blanch. They have been ten 3'ears of arduous labor, 
though ten years replete with happiness. Not that no 
single shadow has fallen on his lot during that time ; 
not that he would have asked for that ; but that in 
his hours of relaxation from toil, and in the very midst 
of such average afflictions and disappointments as must 
befall the lot of everj'one, he always enjoyed that 
domestic happiness, that full confidence, that hallowed 
hour with wife and children which overtops all else. 

What more could he wish for? What more had he a 
right to ask for than he had that beautiful evening in 
the early December of I'^yy, (for remember there 
are beautiful evenings in December), as he peeped 
through the window of his house before opening the 
door when he returned wear>- from his office, to behold 
w'hat ? To behold little Florence Graham, with her 
perfect health, and whose seven summers have passed 
her through the first primary at the public school, and 
now showing her report, for the month of November, 
in the next class, with great pride to her mother with 
one hand, while she squeezes the squeaks out of her 
doll with the other. To behold Blanch, as she says, 
"That is very nice, Flora. Thank God you have not 
disgraced the name of j^our grandmother who died and 



SURVEYING THE EIELD. 471 

left me an orphan before I was even as old as you are 
now." To behold Kdward Morton Graham, whose 
five years' experience of life have taught him wonder- 
ful feats in horsemanship, at least in his imagination, 
as he had a twine tied to the chairs which stand 
around in comfortable disorder, while he uses his 
switch on their backs with considerable freedom, as 
they are supposed to respond to the names of Grand- 
pap's old lyucy and Simon. Flora's importunities of 
"Oh, mamma, do make Eddie be quiet," receives 
no further recognition than a smile and a kiss, while 
Blanch bends down and over the cradle to say to Jacob 
Graham, Jr., "Oh, you darling little baby, you are the 
nicest little six months old boy we ever saw, aren't 
you ? Papa will be home directly, see if he is not ; 
see if he is not." While little three-year-old Martha 
pulls down her mother's hair in her effort to reach over 
the cradle to get a " love from 'ittle buther," while 
Blanch exclaims with that gentle voice which carries 
with it love enough for all the family, " Mercy days, 
Mattie Graham, don't pull mama's head off." 

Oh, Blanch, you were lovely on all the other occa- 
sions on which we have beheld you. You were lovely 
on the 3d of June, nine years before, when 5'ou stood 
in rich but unostentatious bridal robes in 3'our father's 
house and pledged yourself to Walter Graham. But 
to-night, in your own home, resting on your bended 
knees as you lean over that cradle and its precious con- 
tents, with half dishevelled hair, while the little brood 
of little Grahams play around you, you are thrice lovely. 

As Walter's footsteps are in the hall, and you raise 
your face and hand to give him conjugal welcome to 
this circle, you are crowned Queen of the home. 



472 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Mrs. Lofty, who has just left from her formal call, 
has no conception of your happiness. You would not 
waste 3'our time explaining to her why you allow your 
children such liberties in your parlor. She could not 
understand if j'ou would, and would not if she could. 
She worships at the shrine of fashion ; you at the altar 
of love. Your hero husband, at whose feet you bow, 
was mighty at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, at the Wilderness 
and elsewhere, but you, oh, Blanch, in the midst of 
this group where no martial sound is heard, are 
mightier than he. Walter's studied arguments and 
forensic powers before judges and juries have brought 
opinions and verdicts, but your kiss on baby's cheek is 
eloquence far more potent than his. Do you stop to 
think even now, oh, Blanch, that it is of women that 
heroes are born ? Are you conscious of the fact that 
the light which radiates now from your maternal eyes 
is the light of Heaven ? That your reciprocal embrace 
of wife to husband is the act of God ? 

Thus, stood Walter Graham in his own house, in 
Sharwood, that December evening, just ten years from 
the night he sat in Mr. Morton's parlor, at Mansdale, 
when he. and Blanch first knew that all things had 
ended right. The third of next June it would be just 
ten 3'pars since he was married ; just eleven years since 
he was admitted to the Bar ; just fourteen years since 
he fell at Cold Harbor. Ah ! what an eventful daj^ 
was the third of June to him, and yet he had rarely 
mentioned these coincidents outside of his own family. 

His ten and a-half-years of professional life had of 
course brought him some new acquaintances, as well as 
the success which his energy, his unfailing health, his 
fixedness of purpose and natural talents had so justly 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 473 

merited. His new acquaintances embraced a pretty 
considerable range of character, tastes, talents and 
social standing. As a matter of course, he first took 
a survey of the members of his own profession, as he 
would see them gather in the bar on great occasions. 
He beheld, of course, Messrs. Athens, Snyder and 
Jones, who seemed each to be by common consent 
recognized in their respective spheres of strength as 
the heads of the bar, but they were all men who had 
reached the acme of their fame, and had passed the 
prime of life. When his thoughts would still turn 
occasionalh' to his political aspirations, it was not 
those men whom he considered especially in his way. 
He saw a young man by the name of Baxter, who had 
come to the bar about a j-ear before himself, who had 
a wonderfully fertile mind; quick at invention ; could 
avail himself on the instant' of any mistake in his 
adversary; was good at repartee ; earnest in his manner 
and full of intrigue. In addition to this, he had 
behind him a large and influential family connection 
throughout the county and an inordinate ambition for 
power. 

He beheld another young man by the name of 
Irwin, who had preceded him some three years to the 
title of Esq., who had great polish and urbanity of 
manner. He came from a wealthier family than Bax- 
ter, and was considered the social leader of the bar ; 
spared nothing at his entertainments, "and stood in 
with the boys," as they termed it. His natural powers 
were not as strong as Baxter's, but his assurance was 
quite as great, his manner of addressing a jury quite as 
pleasing, and his conscience even a little more lax. 
Like Baxter, his ambition for fame knew no bounds. 



474 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

He was already chairman of the Republican County 
Committee. He and Baxter were ostensibly on the 
most intimate terms, but Walter alwaj-s had his own 
private opinion of their real friendship. 

Another brother of the profession whose form would 
rise up before Walter when his eyes turned toward 
Washington, was Mr. William Carter. Who was he ? 
A man just ten j^ears Walter's senior ; had been a mem- 
ber of the bar twelve years in advance of him. Mr. 
Carter had come from the plow, from poverty. His 
father had died when he had just passed his sixteenth 
year, leaving him a widowed mother and an estate of 
two hundred dollars. From these conditions. Carter 
had educated himself, equipped himself for the law, 
and made for himself an honorable distinction in his 
profession, Though he had been but six weeks in the 
army when he was mustered out for physical disability, 
it showed his heart had been in the right place. It was 
not his fault that he was stricken with typhoid fever 
nigh unto death, before his regiment was fairly at the 
front, or had been in an engagement. It was, in short, 
the same old storj' — the American story — from poverty 
to success, the story at which we will, all of us, throw 
up our hats and cry bravo, to this day. Mr. Carter 
was, besides, the very soul of honor, of probity ; not 
a stain on his character, not a single assailable spot in 
his private life. He had even taken a slight hand, in 
his early days, in the temperance cause, but soon gave 
himself up entirely to his profession. He had made 
his way to the front, not by fawnings and favors, but 
by merit, by character. He was a scholar, a gentle- 
man. As Walter beheld him thus, just forty -five years 
old, in the very prime of life, and squinting his eye, like 



surve;ying the fie;i.d. 475 

the rest of them, sometimes toward Washington, he 
felt, " I may, possibly, have to wait for Carter." 

Carter seemed at first blush to be such an embodi- 
ment of the successful candidate, that one had to look 
well around him to see the weak points in his com- 
position. A closer inspection led astute obser- 
vers sometimes to imagine they saw it. While 
Carter posesses all these elements, they thought he is 
not after all, what w^e term a man of the people. 
He is a little too dignified in his bearing. The people 
who know him best say they never get much closer to 
him than they were at first. While he is honorable 
and upright, he is not warm, or rather does not know 
always how to bend enough to the common people. 
Those who know him but casually are the ones with 
whom he is the strongest. While he is a nice florid 
speaker and a man of far more than ordinary ability, 
he sometimes impresses his audience that he is thinking 
rather more of himself than of his subject ; a little dis- 
posed sometimes to turn a small occasion into a great 
one. Thus it was that Walter .sometimes imagined that 
while Carter was strong in his way, and richly deserved 
the success he had attained as a lawyer, it was possible 
after all that somebody else might get a little closer to 
the hearts of the American people in that great lev- 
elling process which we call a political campaign. 

Another brother of the legal fraternity with whom 
he became rather intimate was Mr. Boyd, a man within 
six months of his own age, and admitted to the bar the 
same year. Boyd was a young man of good natural 
talent and had a collegiate education. He possessed a 
good legal mind, was a lawyer by nature, having per- 
haps a sharper legal acumen than any of the others 



476 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

mentioned. He made no pretentions whatever to any 
oratical powers, being defective in that direction, even as 
to his voice. His aspirations turned naturally toward 
the bench and not to Congress. His mind was practi- 
cal as well as logical, and he had a way like Walter 
him.self of getting pretty close to the common folk, with- 
out lowering his professional bearing. Whether he 
would have stretched a trifle further on questions of 
morals than Walter we will not for the present decide. 
Be that as it may, it is not beyond comprehension how 
they two became, as already stated, rather intimate. 

The.se brief portraits of some of the members of the 
Sharwood bar would not be entirely complete for the 
purposes of this narrative, without giving you still 
another. Not that the one now about to be mentioned 
was ever likely to rise up and confront Walter Graham 
as a candidate for Congress, or that any one would 
even associate his name in connection with that office, 
but for purposes which must be left to make themselves 
manifest, or perhaps because he may be a profitable 
subject for the study of those who make a shidy of our 
American .system of politics. His name was Albert 
Frederick Edward Bird. His usual form of signing 
his name, however, was simply A. F. Bird, the Edward 
havirg become entirely obsolete, and it sometimes 
appeared in the public prints as simply " Bird of the 
Third ward," or .sometimes, " I^ittle Boss Bird." The 
" little " was naturally enough prefixed to his name, 
when you came to understand that he weighed only 
one hundred and seventeen pounds, and measured only 
five feet, four inches from the crown of his head to the 
soles of his feet. 

]\Ir. Bird, though belonging to a respectable family 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 477 

of German extraction, never made any pretences of 
putting on any professional airs or in any way trying 
to wound the feelings of the common people. True, 
the common people never trusted him in court alone 
with any very great matter, but still he instinctively 
understood that it was through them he would make 
his principal gains. The common people instinctively 
understood that they were at liberty to pervert his 
name from Bird to Birdie, and prefix simply the word 
Little, omitting the Boss, which left him the short and 
easy appellation of Z,/V//d' Birdie, by which name he 
came to be generally known about the Court House, 
and through the political circles of the city, even that 
title being frequently shortened to the single word, 
' 'Birdie. ' ' 

Little Birdie, although four years younger than Wal- 
ter, was a veteran of the war and had been admitted to 
the bar only one year later than himself. And be it 
remembered. Birdie's soldier record was not to be 
despised. He had not been a mere gala day soldier ; 
he had been through the four years of the contest ; 
he had enlisted as a bugler boy in a cavalry regiment 
in the summer of 1861 at the age of 14, and never saw 
the smoke of his father's chimney, except when home 
on veteran furlough, until July, 1865. His regiment had 
as proud a record as he could have wished, and Birdie 
had his own horse shot from under him on? dark night, 
while they were crossing the mountains in Tennessee, 
whereupon he became lost and starved in the wilder- 
ness for three days. That Birdie had never been shot 
himself, some said was owing to the fact that he was 
so small the bullets could not hit him, and others, 
that it was because, when they were flying thickest, he 



478 WAI.KR GRAHAM, 'sTAESMAN. 

could hide himself under his horse's mane or behind 
the horn of his saddle. At all events, he could oflFer 
himself as a living example of a souvenir of Anderson- 
ville, for he had spent two months there, as a prisoner 
of war, and wonderful were the events he told thereof. 

He had been in Sherman's march from Atlanta to 
the sea, and had his second horse shot from under him 
in a severe skirmish in North Carolina, while his regi- 
ment was leading Kilpatrick's cavalry, only three 
days before Johnson's surrender. Little Birdie had 
even passed through college after his return from the 
army, but his rank as a lawyer need not be discussed 
now, inasmuch as he made no pretense to be a hard 
student, or a man of wide literary culture. Suffice it to 
say, that it would be an error to suppose that Birdie 
had no clients, for he was well acquainted with the 
boys, and had a remarkable faculty of picking up con- 
tingent cases, into which he took some other lawyer as 
a partner, and thereby bestowed upon the other law- 
yer, as he considered it a great favor. 

Birdie also knew a large number of hotel keepers 
over the city and county whose licenses he annually 
procured, and some people even went so far as to say 
that he made divorce cases a specialty. Thus stood 
Little Birdie in his legal and other capacities, but it 
was as a local statesman, a manipulator of politics, a 
manager of tTie aflfairs of the Third Ward of Sharwood, 
that he rose to the full majesty of his power. But Bir- 
die did not exercise that power in a tyrannical manner; 
he had too much tact for that, some said too much 
craft, for whatever else might be said of his mental 
powers, they were not defective in those directions. 
Birdie understood very thoroughly that there were 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 479 

about three hundred voters in the Third Ward who 
would accept no assistance whatever from him in fix- 
ing their tickets on election day. 

He was perfectly willing to call these three hundred 
people the "respectable woters," or the "intelligent 
woters" or the " solid woters," whom he knew he dare 
not approach. But he also understood equally well 
that these three hundred voters were generally about 
equally divided as to men at primary elections. Hence 
he knew that if he had the other one hundred voters ot 
the ward carefully formed into a permanent club, 
pledged to vote always one way, solid, he would in all 
probability generally hold the balance of power in his 
hands and generalh^ turn the ward over to any candi- 
date at a primary election for whom he chose to go, 
especially if he concealed his purpose thoroughly as to 
whom he actually was for until just after the polls 
opened, so that the three hundred " solid woters" 
could not organize solidly against him, even if they 
were disposed to do so at that late hour. 

Of course, these one hundred men who constituted 
Birdie's club; the hands at the iron works, and the 
boys generally who stood solidly with him, were sup- 
posed to have some consideration for it, and, of course. 
Birdie gave it to them. He did not purchase them 
outright with money. Ah, no ! Birdie was too smart 
for that. He was well up on the election and bribery 
laws. He knew perfectly well the distinction between 
legitimate campaign expenses and bribery. Hence 
these men must all be paid a liberal day's wages for 
services they rendered him in helping to get up his 
poll book, in distributing tickets under each citizen's 
door the night before the election and divers other 



480 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

necessary expenses, and then last, but not least, one in 
every five of them must do something for the con- 
stableship, the assessorship, or letter-carriership, which 
he would get for them in due time. 

Neither was Birdie ever charged with spending these 
legitimate expenses out of his own pocket. He was 
reputed, indeed, to be a very good financier. Of 
course, it was generally inferred that he got this money 
from the candidates whom he favored, and it was also 
supposed that he generally favored the candidates with 
whom he could make the best deal. But it would be 
doing Birdie great injustice to suppose he had no 
natural preferences of his own, and that he did not, at 
least, give such candidates the first opportunity to deal 
with him. It would be doing him a still greater injus- 
tice to charge him with not always trying, at least, to 
deliver his goods after he had contracted to, /cr Jinfaith- 
f Illness to ti'usts, lie said, lie had discovered, was the secret 
of the zveakness of so many other ivard workers. 

The greatest problem about Birdie, as already inti- 
mated, was to know up to the very day of the election 
which fellow he was actually for. But there were 
always a few men who enjoyed his entire confidence, 
and generally knew in advance to whom the ward was 
to be delivered, of whom Boyd was always one. 

Thus it was that Little Birdie would frequently drop 
into Walter's office as late as 'nine o'clock in the even- 
ings, when he would be buried in study, and com- 
mence conversation in a very cordial and easy manner, 
saying that he had had such a headache all day that he 
had not had time to think about a certain case that he 
had on his hands, "in fact, if you will examine the 
law a little in that matter I will take you in with me." 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 481 

He would then branch off in a very easy manner 
about his army experiences, which he supposed, of 
course, was the proper road to Walter's favors, and it 
must be admitted that Birdie did have quite an admira- 
tion for Walter, and that Walter in turn would give 
back to Birdie a certain fraternity of feeling under- 
stood only between survivors of the war. In short, 
they became, in the course of time, quite good friends. 

Other new acquaintances were made, of course, by 
Walter during these years among people of other voca- 
tions, the farmers of the county, the merchants and 
tradesmen of the city. He had also made some reputa- 
tion for himself among the teachers and friends of 
education, in which cause he took considerable inter- 
est. The superintendent of the schools and the prin- 
cipal of the high school had come to know him favor- 
ably, and Rev. Mr. Barnes, pastor of a little Sweden- 
borgian congregation in the city, a man of very fine 
qualities of heart and mind, a thorough scholar, with 
a wide range of literary knowledge, and with far more 
than the ordinary amount of liberality and Christianity 
in his theology, had become one of his particular 
friends. In fact, though not formerly' of that denomi- 
nation, it became noticeable that Walter and Blanch 
had acquired the habit of going to his church more 
than to any other. 

Another acquaintance of Walter's by this time was 
Captain Sneath. He was, in fact, among the first he 
made after his residence in Sharwood, as the Captain 
kept the hotel at which he boarded while he was 
single, and which seemed to be one of the headquarters 
for the county politicians when they would come to 
town. The Captain was hail fellow well met, wuth a 

21 



482 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

tall, state!}' appearance ; his face always clean shaven, 
and adhered rigidlj' to his rule of never taking a drink 
at his own bar. He was a veteran of the civil war, 
with a splendid record. He had been through the 
principal campaigns of the Shenandoah, had been 
wounded at Gettysburg, and followed the fortunes of 
the army of the Potomac from that time until he w^as 
again wounded at the assault on Petersburg so badly 
that it ended his .soldier career. The Captain hailed 
from one of the principal Republican districts of the 
north of the county, was already recorder of deeds, 
and quite a considerable contingent to either political 
ring of the county to which he chose to attach himself. 

These rings, which were composed of divers local 
political leaders, formed into an organization under one 
head, constituted the powers that have already been 
touched upon in the twenty-first chapter. They make 
up what has come to be pretty well understood in this 
day as the boss system in our politics. The parties 
wdio constitute these rings, conscious of the force 
there is .sometimes in a name, are apt to speak of 
them as combinations. But there w'ere some very per- 
verse and sarcastic people of Jefierson county who 
refused to dignify them by these appellations, and who 
alw^ays would speak of them as rings and their leaders 
as bosses. 

As there were always two rival rings in the Repub- 
lican part}' of Jefierson county, it became necessary for 
them to have .some ear-marks by which they could be 
di.stinguished. Here, again, the stupid and unappre- 
ciative people had no more conception of the grand 
than to designate them by the respective terms of 
"Rotten Potatoes Ring" and "Spoiled Pork Ring." 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 483 

How these two edifying names came to be so generally 
applied to these two organizations was sometimes a 
matter of inquiry, but the most reliable information 
that could be gathered on the subject was as follows: 
Some years previous, one Potewright, who was inter- 
ested in the wholesale grocery and provision busi- 
ness and was boss of one of the rings, had control of a 
majority of the prison inspectors and directors of the 
poor. It so happened that, during this time, the 
Sharwood Mercury, already mentioned, being the Re- 
publican organ of the count)^ which generally operated 
with the other ring, came out with some damaging expo- 
sures, to wit: That Potewright had been making large 
profits out of various articles of provisions he had been 
furnishing these institutions at exorbitant prices, the 
inspectors and directors of which, the Mercury further 
alleged, were well known to be merely the creatures of 
Potewright and obliged to do his bidding. One most 
notable instance of this kind was singled out, of a 
large quantity of half rotten potatoes which were 
turned in by Potewright to fill a contract, over one-half 
of which thej' were able to prove were thrown out by 
the stewards as unfit for use. This particular instance 
became the target at which the principal invectives of 
the people and the press were generally hurled, and 
with wonderful appropriateness, it was alleged, the 
expression soon became familiar on the street, the 
"Rotten Potatoes Ring." 

The origin of the other phrase was said to be exactly 
similar. That only two years later one Swinegate, 
interested in the pork business, and leader of the other 
ring, had control of these institutions, and that in due 
time the Sharwood Herald, heretofore mentioned, and 



484 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the organ of the other ring, brought charges of 
the very same character against Swinegate, in refer- 
ence to spoiled pork. Hence the two names, "Rotten 
Potatoes Ring" and "Spoiled Pork Ring." 

Even these two phrases, in course of time, came to be 
shortened in common parlance to the simple expletives, 
" Potatoes " and " Pork." Indeed, it was not uncom- 
mon to hear politicians and candidates for office, when 
talking to each other ask, " Which ring do you expect 
to support you. Potatoes or Pork ?" 

It was during the time Walter boarded with the Cap- 
tain that he first saw occasional glimpses of the respec- 
tive leaders of these two rings. They would sometimes 
drop in late in the evening for a few minutes, talk con- 
fidentially for a short time to some stranger, or per- 
haps call the Captain aside for a brief conference. 
Sometimes, in the height of a primary campaign, he 
had observed one of them to come in daylight, and 
without any commotion pass upstairs, followed by a 
few other gentlemen. 

Neither of these leaders were much given to talk 
themselves, but the lines of their countenances indi- 
cated that the}' were not living without thought. 
Although Walter had been introduced to each of these 
men b}^ the Captain, his acquaintance had never got 
much beyond a mere formal " How do 3'ou do sir?" 
What little he saw of them led him to think that while 
they were both ostensibly interested in private busi- 
ness, the}' left the principal part of its detail to their 
partners. He also suspected sometimes that they each 
had some other more private place where they received 
their friends. 

Though Walter had never seen anything especially 



surve;ying the field. 485 

reprehensible in the conduct of either Mr. Potewright 
or Mr. Swinegate, he occasionally heard their names 
mentioned, as he passed a saloon after night, by lewd 
fellows of the baser sort, in the most unchaste and vulgar 
manner. As his thoughts began to turn more seri- 
ously toward Congress, and he would take retrospects 
in his mind as to what he had seen of practical politics 
in Jefferson county, he would wonder to what extent 
the road to a seat in the National House of Represen- 
tatives did lie through these rings, and by the gracious 
favors of these ring-masters. 

He wondered if their powers were magnified or 
whether they were really greater than supposed? And 
was it true that even the press was more or less sub- 
servient to them, for he could not help noticing what a 
singular coincident it was that the Herald generally 
favored the candidates of the one, and the Mercury 
those of the other ring, though both journals posed 
before the people as reformers and in favor of honest 
politics. Or might it be, he thought sometimes, that 
both these rings and the papers endeavored to board 
the train which they thought was the winning one, 
that they might thereby be more likely to get an occa- 
sional sheriff and prison board on the same car with 
them. At all events, he was a firm believer in the 
people. He was willing to trust, like Abraham I^in- 
coln, to their instincts. He still had faith in Repub- 
lican government. 

As he looked farther over the situation he saw, what? 
That his congressional district was composed of Jeffer- 
son and Franklin counties. That their present repre- 
sentative was Mr. Carpenter, of Franklin county, 
which was much the smaller of the two. That Mr. 



486 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Carpenter was a man pretty well advanced in life, with 
nothing more than medium powers, who had represented 
the district for three terms, and had gained no special 
distinction for himself during that time. That the 
next candidate would, in all probability, come from 
Jefferson county, and that there was already consider- 
able undertow in public sentiment, which was begin- 
ning to say, "It is time we ignore this rule of rotating 
anyhow. We should elect some young man with at 
least fair ability, in the prime of life, to Congress, and 
keep him there until he acquires some influence." He 
thought it probable that the politicians and ring-mas- 
ters might take that sentiment into consideration 
when the}' commenced to groom their candidates for 
the coming race the next summer ; but were there not 
other young aspirants for the honor who seemed to 
come pretty well up to these conditions, and who stood 
much closer in sympathy and feeling to the bosses 
than he ? 

Would they not look well around them before they 
laid their brushes on him ? And what qualities have I, 
he thought, that will give me a fighting chance to 
come in under the wire a neck ahead in spite of them ? 

Thus stood the situation in Jefferson county, and 
thus cogitated Walter Graham that December night, 
in 1877, when in the thirty-fifth year of his age he 
went home so happy to his happy family. 

Thus it was that, after tea being over, he said, " Well, 
Blanch, how nearly has the time arrived when I should 
begin to think seriously about going to Congress ? ' ' 

" Well, I do not know ; how nearly do you think it 
is here ? ' ' 

' ' I believe I should make the break next spring. ' ' 



SURVEYING THE FIELD. 487 

' ' I believe your purpose has been quickened ever 
since you were in Washington last winter and heard 
Senator Morton make his speech on the electoral 
commission." 

" Well, you know the name of Morton always had 
a magnetism in it for me." 

"Yes, it must be a great stock. I wonder if the 
senator was any relation to our family. ' ' 

"Well, he certainly is a great man ; you could not 
but be impressed with that fact when you consider 
the circumstances of the case, that there stood all the 
great leaders of the Senate, Edmunds, Conkling, Blaine, 
Bayard and Thurman, paying obeisance to him, and 
half in terror of a man who could not stand on his 
feet."* 

"Well, Walter, to be serious, you know I always 
have been content, and really could be quite as happy 
to live on here in our quiet way all my life, but I am 
not going to be the cause of preventing you from hav- 
ing an opportunity to carry out the natural bent of 
5'our mind, and which, I suppose, God would not have 
given you if not for some purpose." 

"That is, you mean to say that if you plant an 
acorn on a mountain side it is hardly right to try to 
graft a chestnut on it." 

" No, or if you hatch an eagle's egg under a hen 
you may still expect the eagle to fly in due time for the 
mountain." 

"Just so ; then you think further, that if the young 
eagle tries to take his first flight next summer you 
have no objections." 



*Senator Morton's speech ou the electoral commission bill was delivered 
in a sitting posture. 



488 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" Exactly, and I will even give him my moral sup- 
port, and do what I can to see that he alights right, 
that he reaches the top of the mountain Yes, Walter, 
if you do go into it make it a success. Of course, I do 
not want to see you do anything dishonorable or wrong 
to succeed, which I know, of course, you will not, but 
I do want you to beat either Baxter, Irivi^i or Carter. 
You know yoic are smarter tJian any of them.'' 

Thus went Walter Graham and Blanch to bed that 
night, after his ten j-ears of honest labor and merited 
success. 

Meanwhile, Tom Swave had been to the West and 
was back again. 






CHAPTER XXVIII. 

cur.rn'ATi.xG the field. 

TF any passer-by on Court Avenue, in the city 
-^ of Sharwood, on the night of May i, 1878, had 
stopped in front of a certain attorney's office, about 
half-past nine o'clock, he might have seen, underneath 
the drawn curtains, and by the faint flicker through the 
transom above the door, that the light was burning low 
in the front office. Had he supposed that the occupant 
had stepped out transiently, locking the door behind 
him, he could have easily undeceived himself by turn- 
ing the knob. Had he jumped over the fence, at the 
side, into Mrs. Lutz's back yard, and looked beneath 
the half-lowered curtain, at the back window, he could 
have seen the light burning at full blaze in the back 
office, where two men were sitting talking to each 
other in a confidential manner. 

These two men were Tom Swave and Daniel Web- 
ster Boyd, the latter being one of the attorneys men- 
tioned in the previous chapter. It was Mr. Boyd's 
office in which they were sitting, and the way Tom 
Swave came to be there was, briefl}', as follows : he 
had gone out West on the occasion on which, the 
reader will remember, he wrote Walter Graham the 
letter saying he would. He had spent something over 
four years on the sunset side of the Rocky Mountains, 
having gone over them on the first train of the Union 
and Central Pacific Railroads that crossed them. 

Having witnessed the ceremonies of the joining of 



490 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

those two ends which they welded together with a 
golden nail, his meanderings took him over various 
sections of the great Pacific Slope. Watching at times 
the placid waters of the great ocean, resting against 
her oak-bound shore ; stopping long enough at one 
town to study law and be admitted to the bar ; keep- 
ing up his resolution to keep the great mountains 
between him and his former associations, until it came 
to pass that he found himself suffering in a hospital at 
Sacramento from a breaking out of an alarming and 
painful symptom of his old wound. 

Broken in spirit, and without money, in a strange 
land without friends, and the word just arrived that his 
father would probably not survive many months, he 
naturally, upon his first convalescence, made known his 
situation to Walter Graham. He received a prompt 
reply, containing a certified check for a sufficient 
amount to bring him home, with the single command 
in it " come homey 

These words fell upon his ear like the voice of the 
good Samaritan, and he came home. He got home in 
time to see his father before he died. He recovered in 
time his former health. Walter had him admitted to 
the Sharwood bar. and afterwards made editor of the 
Sharwood Press, a weekly journal published in the 
city, which he, with a few others, had been instru- 
mental in starting, though he had no interest in it for 
the last two years. 

Tom held this position as editor of the P)'ess on the 
evening now in question, to wit, the first of May, 1878. 
Though no traces of dejection or a broken heart were 
on his countenance that night, on account of the event 
which had sent him West ten years before, his brows 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 491 

were drawn, and his thoughts diving deep into the 
darkness of uncertain contingencies in search of a 
plan by which he could have Walter Graham nomi- 
nated for Congress at the coming convention. He 
knew Boyd was a man of good judgment, and he w^as 
anxious to hear his opinion of the situation, and take 
counsel with him. But he knew very well that he 
himself had a more real heartfelt interest in it than 
any other man, and he knew also that Walter would 
still give him his entire confidence, and he remembered 
further that he had said to him in one of their talks, 
" I guess it will fall on you, Tom, to give it the brain 
charge. ' ' 

The curls of smoke w^ere ascending from the cigars 
of each of these men, now so completely absorbed in 
their subject, when Boyd drew his from his mouth, 
knocked the ashes from its end with the tip of his 
little finger, and said, " Well, 5^ou ask me how I view 
the situation as it stands to-day, and you are here on 
the assumption that I am friendly to Graham, in which 
you are correct ; but you know in politics we don't 
always stick to our first preferences when some other 
paramount object is to be accomplished ; of course you 
understand all that ; but remember, I don't say that 
Graham may not be the instrument bj- which we can 
best accomplish the object I have in view. I hope he 
ma}' be ; but 3-ou see a man must be cautious. You 
see, if we confine ourselves only to what we know at 
present, it is simply this, that there will be the four 
candidates, — Baxter, Irw'in, Carter, and Graham." 

"Just so," replied Tom, " and out of those you wish 
to know which one will be most beneficial to 3'our 
chances for the bench, five j^ears hence." 



492 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Yes, that might be said to be it, or which is the 
best man with which to beat Baxter?" replied Boyd. 

" Will he be harder to beat than Irwin ? " 

" I think so." 

"Why?" 

" Because I believe the Potato Ring will stick to him 
solid, while the indications are that the Pork Ring will 
be a little disorganized. There are some important 
factors in it that may fly off, and besides, if your own 
premonitions are correct, that the Mercury may support 
Carter, that leaves them without an organ, while you 
may bet 3'our last dollar the Herald will pull with the 
Potatoes. ' ' 

" Ma}^ not Graham be the beneficiary- of an}' demor^ 
alization that may exist in the Pork Ring?" asked 
Tom. 

" Not as much so as Carter," replied Boyd ; " if the 
Mercury should be for him, you see Carter and Graham 
will naturally divide the independent voters anyhow, 
and if the Mercury should come out square for Carter, 
I am afraid it might make him the stronger of the two, 
unless you can do more for Graliam in your weekly 
than I think you can ; and you see, with our forces 
divided, it gives either one of the rings, when united, 
the advantage." 

" I infer then, that you think Carter may possibly be 
the man Graham has to beat." 

"Yes, that thought has occurred to me, nor do I 
overlook the fact that it may be Irwin. You see the 
truth is, that when the Pork Ring is thoroughly 
united they are generally a little the stronger of the 
two, and Irwin can afford rather more flopping off from 
his forces than Baxter can, and then add to that the 



CULTIVATING THE FIKLD. 493 

fact that be has plenty of money, and will spend it 
without stint or scruple. Of course, I know what you 
consider the elements of strength in Graham ; that he 
has a fair chance to get a good portion of the respectable 
vote, and that he appeals strongly to the patriotic sen- 
timent, which I must admit is an element of strength. 
But then he is the youngest man in the field, and you 
must remember Carter was a soldier also. In short, 
sometimes I think they all start off with elements of 
strength pretty nearly equal. If they all stay in the 
field, which seems to be, as I said, about the only thing 
which looks certain now, I would not be surprised if 
they would all have very nearly the same number of 
votes on the first ballot." 

Tom listened attentively to Boyd going through this 
analysis of the situation, drew his cigar from his 
mouth, gave a long exhalation of smoke from the cor- 
ner of his lips, rested his arm on the arm of the chair, 
and made reply, by asking, "How do Sneath and 
Birdie talk when they talk to you ? ' ' 

"Well, the}' are both politicans, you know; the}^ 
are both hunting safe ground." 

" Where are their actual sympathies? " 
"Well, I do believe they actually' sympathize with 
Graham ; in fact, I was standing on the corner only 
yesterday, talking with the Captain, when Swinegate 
came along and accused him of being for Graham, 
pointing to his Grand Army button and saying, ' Oh, 
we know where you are, you needn't try to lie out of 
it,' and the Captain simply smiled and said, 'Well, 
why shouldn't I be? ' " 

Tom nodded his head and said, " Yes, yes." 

" Well, now," said Boyd, " you have asked me sev- 



494 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

eral questions, suppose I put you on the witness stand 
awhile. How does the matter look to you ? ' ' 

"I see no combination, as yet, that can likely be 
formed against him suflQciently strong to beat him ; a 
little concert of action and good management on our 
part and he is bound to go through." 

"Why, }'OU don't suppose he is going to be strong 
enough to make the nomination over and above all the 
others combined, do you ! " 

"Not at all," replied Tom. " I only foresee that when 
the irreconcilability of the other elements becomes mani- 
fest there is but the one natural place for them to go to." 

" I know what you think, that inasmuch as none of 
the others can make it on the first ballot, he will be the 
go-between who will walk off with the convention ; but 
don't you be too sure of that. Don't you suppose the 
two rings will go together before thc}^ will suffer either 
him or Carter to be nominated ? " 

"Are you sure that if the two rings were to splice 
that they would have mote than both Carter and Gra- 
ham," replied Tom ? 

"I see exactly what you are thinking," replied 
Boyd, "and exactly what your plan of action is ; but 
suppose Graham comes into the convention at the foot 
of the list, and with a number of delegates consider- 
ably below Carter ; then is he not beaten from the 
start ? ' ' 

" Not at all," replied Tom, with that perfect confi- 
dence which said, "You have presented nothing new to 
my mind, as yet." 

Boj^d threw himself back a little farther in his chair, 
took a fresh draught from his cigar, and replied serenely, 
"Well I admire your confidence, but remember now, if 



CULTIVATING THE) FIELD. 495 

we do go into this we must win ; it will require con- 
cert of action and good management on our part. We 
will just have to make a little combination here of our 
own, and it is not necessary for Graham himself to 
know all that we do. I will do what I promised you 
with Sneath and Birdie, but you talk with them too, 
and you must know how far to go with Graham him- 
self, because you will be held responsible for what pledges 
are made on his account. It will take a considerable 
amount of suavity to get all these elements to work 
smoothly together, and not onl}- your name, but your 
conduct, justifies the belief that you have a consider- 
able amount of it." 

"Well now, Boyd, that is all right; just you help 
me to manage the Captain and Little Birdie, and when 
the thing is ripe we will all four meet together. Of 
course, there are some things that will take very nice 
management to fix with Graham himself, but I think 
it can be arranged. Remember this game is now in 
our hands ; its heads I win, tails you lose. Good 
night." He arose, seized his cane and walked out. 

Boyd closed the door and soliloquized as follows: "'At 
this distance it does look well for Graham, I must con- 
fess, and this fellow Swave is smart. I wanted to see 
how he could meet the various propositions I pro- 
pounded to him, but I see clearly that he has thought 
over all the contingencies and has a plan. Although 
his little weekly has not got as large a circulation as 
the other papers, it gives us a journal at least, and if 
he works the thing with ability, we may manufacture 
such a sentiment for Graham between now and the 
delegate election as will make him hard to beat, 
because, remember, we don't have to go on his soldier 



496 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

record alone, as is frequentl)^ the case with those can- 
didates. Here is a man so thorough!}' competent, and 
as old Judge Lapham says, has as persuasive and 
earnest a manner of addressing a jury as any man at 
the bar, and one that gets far closer to them than those 
other fellows with their ranting and studied eloquence. 
Yes, sir, we may be able to bring him into the conven- 
tion the highest man on the list. In that event, he will 
be sure to make the nomination, and even if he can't 
come in head, I think Swave is likely right, while the 
candidates can't come together the tendency must be 
to fall to the soldier. But where is the money to come 
from? That is the question. Will Graham believe that 
all of the amount we will need can be spent legiti- 
mately? Still I guess Swave can manage it." 

Tom went back to his editorial room, drew up his 
chair to his desk, and softl)^ soliloquized as follows : 

" Now I have Boyd's view of the case. He carries 
a pretty level head and looks well over the situation, 
but though he may have been testing to some extent 
how well I have examined it, I am happy to know 
that he has presented no view of the matter that has 
not already occurred to me. As I draw out in my 
mind that soldier record which can always be so art- 
fully played upon in a few terse sentences, when I 
allude to his other qualities, when I ask the question, 
all other things being equal, are the people of this dis- 
trict unwilling to be represented in Congress by one 
of her yeteran soldiers, are all his scars and sufferings 
to count for nothing? I awake a mighty sentiment. 
No, sir, I believe what old Mr. Williamson told him 
the day his discharge came to him, 'Lay it awaj' 
carefull)^ It may be worth more to you than the best 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 497 

farm in Jefferson count}',' is about to come true. In 
fact, it may-bring him into the convention at the head 
of the list. I am ahnost afraid sometimes that it will. 
If he starts lower down on the list his chances will be 
better. We can work the patriotic sentiment more 
effectively at the eleventh hour than at any other time, 
and I am still of my original opinion that Baxter and 
Irwin would never join hands to beat anybody. They 
are both too ambitious and jealous of each other for 
that, though ostensibly friendly, because they train 
largely with the same class of people, and use largely 
the same methods, and the same reasons will keep 
them from going together to make anybody else. Nor 
can Carter afford to go to either of them to beat Gra- 
ham. No, sir ! As it stands to-night he holds the key 
to the situation. The only question is, can I get Walt, 
to understand that we can spend all the money we may 
need, legitimately; that we are not trying to buy votes 
with it ; but I think I can manage it. And I feel 
morally certain that he will redeem any reasonable 
pledges I ma}' make for him. At all events, somebody 
has got to take the responsibility of doing certain 
things now. ' ' 

If the reader has observed how nearly, as a whole, 
the opinions of these two men were alike, not only as 
to the situation, but as to each other, he may, perhaps, 
have perceived, also, one point wherein ttey differed ; 
but of that hereafter. Sufficient now, that Tom forged 
on with his work. His editorials were sharp, well- 
tempered and incisive. The four weeks developed 
what he had expected. That the Mercury would come 
out flat for Carter, it now advocating him with vigor, 
saying, " That, while he was only in the prime of life. 



498 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

he was riper in years and experience than any of the 
others, who were all young and could well afford to 
wait." In fact, there was potency in the argument, 
but Tom maintained his equipoise. He only said, "It 
may, possibly, bring him in ahead on the first ballot, 
but we are not specially hurt by that." Baxter, as 
predicted, had the Potato Ring well in hand, and the 
Herald was with them solid, while Irwin was supported 
by Swinegate and the most of the Pork Ring, and was 
spending his money lavishly, while Tom had been 
mailing everywhere extra copies of the Press and 
other printed circulars to every Republican voter in the 
count}^ without regard to costs. In fact, the candi- 
dates were well nigh down to their best by this time. 
Who had the most reserve power in store, who could 
increase, for a short time, his speed, would soon be 
tested. Certain it was, one could occasionally hear 
passing remarks on the streets from the people who 
took no active part in politics, such as these : 

"Young Graham seems to be developing more 
strength than I had thought for. Yes, he has some 
good running qualities about him." 

"Yes, and he is a man, I guess, as well qualified as 
any of them." 

"That is what I hear some' people say ; and recol- 
lect, the}' don't get up many better soldier records than 
he has." 

"Yes, the soldier boys ought to be solid for him ; 
and I tell you, when such a man is qualified the people 
ought to be solid for him, too ; we certainly owe some- 
thing to such a man." 

"Yes, but how about Carter? He was a soldier, 
also?" 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 499 

"I know ; but that part of his case is lost sight of, 
when compared with a career like Graham's." 

Expressions and straws like these dropping from the 
common folks served as a stimulant and promise ot 
hope to Walter and his friends, while it filled with un- 
uttered apprehension the minds of each of the other 
candidates, and caused their friends to say in secret 
counsel, " The danger that threatens us now is that the 
convention maj' be stampeded for Graham if it gets 
into a dead-lock;" Potewright and Swinegate gener- 
all)' giving emphasis to it by adding, "These d — d 
soldier candidates are always in our way. They have 
given us more trouble than an}' other class of men." 

Such was the condition of things the first week in 
June, only ten days before the delegate election. It 
was one evening of that week that Boyd, Tom Swave 
and Sneatli were all in council in Boyd's law office. 

" Where is Birdie to-night," said Tom ; " I thought 
he was going to meet with us. ' ' 

"Oh, he is all right. I have a thorough under- 
standing with him, and it's just as well he's not here. 
Small bodies can work with less friction than large 
ones," replied Boyd. 

"Well, that is so," replied To:n ; "just so you are 
sure you know your ground." 

" Oh, yes ; the thing is looking first-rate now," said 
the Captain ; " but we must have more money, or they 
will lick us yet. You see, if we hire one or more good 
fellows in each district to distribute these documents 
for us it stimulates them wonderfully; and then we must 
have tickets printed for each separate district and ready 
for them. And another thing : it is very important to 
have somebody in each district in the county to bring 



500 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

US in the returns that night, or not later than Sunday- 
night. You may bet these other fellows will know by 
that time just how every delegate stands ; and just how 
to work the doubtful fellows, and what deals can be 
made with them for other points, and everything else ; 
I have been with, them ; I know." 

" Yes, I think myself it is important that we should 
know^ by Sunday night how the delegates stand. I 
tell you, to get all this done it is going to run into a 
power of mone}'," replied Tom. 

"Oh, well, Graliam can stand it," said Boyd, "or 
if he can't, his wife can, or her folks. You can fix 
that no doubt, and while we are on that subject, I will 
tell 3-ou how we can save him somewhat. Here is 
Birdie's case with his Third Ward. 

"These other fellows are after him strong, you know. 
I have been thinking about this. How would it do to 
let him take some of Irwin's or Baxter's money ? He 
need not necessarily cheat them. Let him promise 
them that the best he can do for them is to get them 
one delegate right at the last, and then with the same 
money he can get the other three delegates of the 
ward for Graham, or even only two if he has to deal 
with both Baxter and Irwin ; and even then let him 
have it so arranged that their votes will be only 
complimentary; let him have it understood with these 
two delegates, or one, as the case ma}- be, that they are 
to vote for Graham whenever he tells them." 

"That is all very nice as a plan to listen to," said 
Tom, " but are you sure it could be put into practice, 
when you deal with a man who tells you he is going to 
serve you by cheating somebod}^ else ? Are you sure 
you may not be the one that is to be cheated, and 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 501 

besides, how can he manage to elect part of his own 
ticket, and then jnst the fellow he wants of the others ?' ' 

"Oh, eas}^ enough; he can deliver the goods in 
any shape he chooses," said Boyd. "The only ques- 
tion is, shall we agree to let somebod)^ else have some 
complimentary votes out of the ward, even if we are 
sure of getting them when we want them. Because, 
remember, Birdie is not going to cheat them if he goes 
into it. We have got to stand by the contract to give 
them at least one vote. The only question is, are we 
willing to take chances on that one vote not electing 
our opponent ? I will guarantee Birdie can arrange it." 

"Well, sir, if you will stand responsible for the 
arrangement, I will say let him make it," said 
Tom, who instantly saw that it might be a good 
thing, in more respects than one. 

" Still, I don't know about it," said the Captain. " I 
don't take much stock in this thing of giving other 
fellows complimentary votes. Suppose it elects them ?" 

" I will take the chances on that if you will take the 
chances on Birdie being able to deliver the goods in 
that shape," replied Tom. 

"Oh, there is no doubt about that," replied the 
Captain. " Boyd and I will both guarantee that the 
Third Ward delegation will come in that way if we 
say so." 

"Then, I say let her come that way," replied Tom. 

Various other matters of detail were arranged and 
talked over, until about ten o'clock, when the three 
men dispersed, Tom and the Captain walking along 
together until they came to the door of a pretentious- 
looking saloon, on a business street, when the Captain 
said, " L,et us go in and see what Powderly's beer is 



502 WAI.TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

like to-night, and how the campaign is coming on in 
here ; we will sound the boys a little." 

The two men walked in. The Captain appeared to 
be well acquainted with the bar-tender, the proprietor, 
and every bod}^ inside, by the way he sent the ejacula- 
tions forth. 

"Hello, Pinkie; hello, Sam; good evening, Mr. 
Powderly ; how are you to-night. I brought in my 
friend, Captain Swave, editor of the Press, to see you. 
Hello, old Mailer, what are you doing round back 
there, and how is Spooner? I see you still keep him 
with you to keep you straight." 

These and other familiar salutations the Captain 
went through, which were responded to by the loafers 
in the chairs, with diverse broad grins and gutteral 
grunts, and by Mr. Powderly, the proprietor, with 
very bland bows and courtesies, as he said : 

"Good evening, gentlemen, good evening, glad to 
see you ; take seats. Oh, yes, I know Captain Swave; 
he and my brother were in the same company in 
the army. Take seats, gentlemen. Perhaps you would 
prefer going into the side- room." 

"Yes, yes," said the Captain, "we will go in and 
occupy one of the tables. We thought we would just 
drop in and see whether your beer was in good condition 
to night; I haven't had any all day. lyCt the boys all 
have a 'night cap' before they go to bed;" laying a 
dollar down on the counter, ' you bring the change 
in with you Pinkie, if there is any, and don't forget 
Mr. Swave and I take a little cheese and pretzel with 
ours. ' ' 

The men occupying the chairs all proceeded to the 
bar to take their "night cap," which meant in the Ian- 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 503 

guage of the saloon, a drink before they retired. The 
Captain and Tom entered the side-room and seated 
themselves by a table, while Mr Powderly soon fol- 
lowed himself, with the beer and cheese on a waiter, 
saying — " There are pretzels on the table, gentlemen ; 
just help yourselves." 

"All right, Mr. Powderly," responded the Captain. 
"By the way, you said you had a brother in the same 
company as our friend Swave. I reckon he is for Gra- 
ham for Congress, is he ? How is the congressional 
fight coming on wiili you here, anyhow ? All for 
Graham, are you ? You know we old veterans must 
stick tegether." 

" Well, there seems to be considerable talk about it 
now," responded Mr. Powderly, with a bland smile, 
and still fussing around to oblige his customers. " I 
find some people for one and some for another can- 
didate. I guess Graham has a good many friends 
though . ' ' 

' 'You had better believe he has, ' ' exclaimed the Cap- 
tain. "He's going to win this fight, too. Do you know 
that? What do you sa}^ Pinkie?" addressing himself 
to the bartender, who had just then arrived with the 
change and a fresh supply of pretzels. 

" Oh, Graham never spends anything with the land- 
lords. I am afraid he will be left," replied Pinkie, 
rather demurely, and looking towards his employer to 
see if he had given the right answer. 

"Why, aren't we spending something with you 
now?" responded the Captain. 

" Yes, but you can't shut nobody's eye up that way, 
Captain. You are just doing this on your own ac- 
count," said Pinkie. 



504 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"You are quite light there," interposed Tom. 
"Major Graham has authorized no person to go 
around saloons treating for him. Whatever we do here 
must be considered our own act." 

" Yes, yes; that is all right," said Mr. Powderly. "In 
fact, I giv'e every man credit for standing by his own 
principles, and there is no mistake there are a great 
many people friendly to him My brother is for him, 
that's certain. He wants me to be for him, too ; but 
you see it is pretty hard to tell what to do. Here is 
Irwin on my bond." 

" Oh, fall in line with us, Mr. Powderly. Be on the 
winning side," replied the Captain. 

"Oh, Graham can't win," interposed Pinkie. " He 
won't have the delegates of more than three townships ; 
if he had one of the rings with him he might have 
some .show." 

The Captain here pulled a ten-dollar bill out of his 
pocket, and holding it up, said, "Look here, Pinkie ; 
I will just bet you a ten-dollar bill that he comes into 
the convention with the delegates of ten districts, and 
that my two old town.ships of Highland and Waterfall 
will be among them 

"Oh, well, I'm not just a-betting to-night," re- 
responded Pinkie. " Of course, he may carry your old 
townships, but that won't nominate him." 

" Well, I tell you, I kind of half believe myself he 
is going to be strong," interposed Powderly. " Pote- 
wright told me the other day himself, that if their 
ring had taken Graham they could have made him, 
easy." 

The Captain here threw his legs up on the adjoining 
table, took a fresh sip of his beer and proceeded to 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 505 

sing two stanzas of "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys," 
in clear, distinct tones, until Spooner halloaed in from 
the other room, "That's the stuff." 

"You're right," said the Captain, finishing his 
cheese and beer, and proceeding to the other room, 
where the men were still hanging on in hopes of 
another "night cap." " You're with us solid, are you 
not, Spooner? You're an old vet." 

" You bet, I am," replied Spooner ; "I didn't tramp 
my old legs oiF from Atlanta to the sea for nothing ; I 
am for Graham, and I don't care who knows it. Some 
of them were trying to preach up to me the other day 
that Graham was too much temperance, but I told 
them it was no use. I am for the man that stood 
shoulder to shoulder with us when we needed men." 

' ' Yes, sir ; that is the point. When the Johnnies 
were peppering us down there, we didn't ask whether 
he was a temperance man. Democrat, Republican, or 
what he was, just so he stood up to the rack." 

Here the Captain and Spooner both started up in 
concert, "Marching Through Georgia," which they 
sang through to the end, after which the Captain again 
held up his ten-dollar bill, saying, "Well, Pinkie, are 
3^ou going to take that bet ' ' 

"Oh, no. I am not betting to-night, but you will 
see. ' ' 

" Well, look here," said the Captain. " I will give 
you another chance if you are so certain. I will bet 
you this ten-dollar bill that Graham will be our next 
Congressman, Now take it up, if you dare." 

The Captain feeling prett}^ confident that Pinkie did 



506 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

not have ten dollars of his own, had sallied forth on 
this bold venture for effect. Pinkie flushed up, fingered 
and rummaged in the drawer, exclaiming, " Hold on, 
hold on ; well, just wait a bit. Mr. Powderly, will 
3-ou lend me five dollars ? Will you go halves on this 
bet?" 

The loafers around began to laugh and titter, and 
Powderly was saying, "No, I don't want halves in 
any bet. I wouldn't bet three cents how this thing is 
going to go." 

The Captain, now realizing that his venture had 
been more successful than he could have hoped 
gave it a finishing touch by saying, "Well, here, if 
none of you have sand enough in you to take it up, let 
us have another 'night-cap' and go. It's getting 
late; Captain Swave and I must be moving on," at 
which he laid down another dollar on the bar and they 
all proceeded to drink except Tom, who politely 
excused himself. 

Tom and he then bade them good-night and started 
out. As they walked along the Captain said, " That 
is the way to manufacture sentiment. Some work up 
matters in the churches and some in the saloons, and 
if a man is only lucky enough to get both on his side, 
he is pretty sure to win." 

"Suppose you can get but one of them, which is 
most likely to win ? " asked Tom. 

"That sometime^ is a doubtful question," replied 
the Captain, " but always get both whenev^er you can." 

The}^ parted on the corner. Tom returning to his 
editorial sanctum, seated himself once more at his 
desk and meditated, as follows : " Thus it is, that sen- 
timent is manufactured in the saloon, at the expense 



CULTIVATING THE FIELD. 507 

of human souls, amid the ruins of broken fortunes, of 
desolate homes, and starving children. And how can 
we hold Powderly and his fraternity alone responsible, 
while we, who claim to be the respectable portion of 
the community, give him our moral support, while 
those who count themselves the elite of society, feign 
would conquer through him, and smile on the misery 
his trade has wrought, though they would not think 
of inviting him to their social board ? Oh, contempt on 
such hypocrisy! Nay, surely it is not I who am in a 
position to throw the first stone ! How am I better 
than the rest, if I stand complacently by and expect to 
profit by the same means? Oh, poor, weak, inconsist- 
ent human nature, may I not pray ' Lead us not into 
temptation,' while Thou, O Father, judgest in mercy 
my motives, and creditest me at least with having said 
this is our act, not Walter's ! Look down, O God, 
upon my lonely soul this night ; upon that little 
church-yard grave where all my family lie buried ; 
upon me with all mj- hopes destroyed, with a painful 
consciousness of all my sins, and say, at least, that I 
have acted from a generous motive in my endeavor to 
make Walter Graham Congressman? 

"Ah ! Walter, I remember when j^our mother looked 
with suspicious eye upon my too frequent visits to 
your place, because she knew I was unworthy of you 
and your sisters, and yet, when the hour of affliction 
came to my poor mother, she, of all the rest, stood 
closest by her, and why? Because common suffer- 
ing makes all the world akin. Yes, 'tis true. I 
remember when I lay peppered, as the Captain calls it, 
on that wheat-field at Gettysburg ; I never thought of 
asking of the men who carried me from it, to what 



508 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

church, or to what doctrines they adhered, to what 
party, what race, or what nationality they belonged. 
'Thank God, that in the hour of our direst necessities, 
we rely not upon beliefs and creeds, but upon the 
universal brotherhood of man. Nay, then why should 
I be held responsible, if upon the broad field of common 
patriotism and humanity I find a place where bar- 
room and pulpit meet ? 

"Why blame me if the ball that pierced Walter 
Graham at Cold Harbor has made him Congressman ? 
Why should I be held accountable if, across the bloody 
stream that gushed from his lungs that day, saloon 
and church have joined hands? Ah, yes ! How beauti- 
ful that sentiment, and yet, why is it that it don't 
quite satisfy me, as I go on arranging with Birdie, 
smiling on the Captain, winking at the saloon, and 
doing those things whose every detail I deem best not 
to tell to Walter ? ' ' 

Yes, Tom, lay your head upon your desk and reason 
as you will ; search' what balm you can to sooth, 
offended conscience, and still the still small voice is 
there. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

a A THF.RrXG THE CROP. 

ON the Sunday evening of June 2d, 1878, Walter 
Graham took a walk to his office to learn the latest 
news from the delegate election of the previous Satur- 
day. 

The field had been surveyed for a year, and cul- 
tivated for weeks. Whatever fruit it had borne was 
now ready to be gathered. 

How large a crop of delegates had it brought him ; 
what course might be wisest to pursue in harvesting it 
between showers, and to confer generally with his 
friend, was the object of his errand that night. 

When he parted with his little coterie of friends at 
midnight the night before, enough was learned to know 
that he had come out as well in the cit}' as he had 
expected ; out of eleven wards he had carried the dele- 
gates in two for certain, while Baxter had carried four, 
Carter two, Irwin two, and one-half of Birdie's Third 
Ward was claimed by both Baxter and Irwin ; while 
all hands seemed to concede that Graham would likely 
get the other two delegates, or the half of the ward. 

But Tom and Boyd and the Captain smiled confiden- 
tially at each other, and with assurance to Walter at 
these reports that the Third Ward would not be solid for 
for him, Tom giving him full assurance before he left, 
that he could rely on the Third whenever it was 
deemed necessary ; this gave him three wards in the 
city, bringing him up next to Baxter. 



510 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Though Walter himself did not exactl}^ understand 
how two certain men came to be elected in the Third, 
or why it was that Birdie himself had not put in an 
appearance up to that time, he was willing to take 
Tom's word for it, and give him the same generous 
confidence and faith in his integrity and ability that 
he had done years before when he implored his help to 
procure him an opportunity to speak at the Shocktown 
Republican meeting. 

Will. Morton had telegraphed them the night before 
that he was all right for the four delegates of Mans- 
dale, and Dave Miller had sent the same intelligence 
from his old township of Adams. This latter informa- 
tion was specially gratifying to Walter and his friends, 
for it had been bruited about by Baxter and his friends, 
that Graham would not be able to carry the delegates 
of his old township ; and when it was remembered that 
the ranklings and heart-burnings made by the old Pat. 
McKnight-Bowers fight had never entirel}^ died out, 
though healed ostensibly on the surface ; that the 
'Squire and Slybarr, and all their followers with all 
their ability in managing affairs of that character, 
really sympathized now as they always had done, with 
the "Potato Ring;" that they would secretly enjoy 
this opportunity to get square with the enemy that had 
given them so much trouble, if it gave any signs of 
success it was enough to fill Walter's mind with appre- 
hensions that Baxter's talk might not be a mere idle 
boast. 

In fact, in view of this situation, Graham's friends 
in Adams township, including his father, had advised 
that rather than enter into another bitter and acri- 
monious contest, such as they had experienced in Pat.'s 



GATHERING THE CROP. 511 

case, they should accept the following proposition from 
Slybarr : 

" That, whereas he and all his friends had generally 
operated with the other ring, and the ring was 
thinking very hard of him now that he would not 
stand up and make an open fight for Baxter, and 
all his friends had told Baxter and all his friends that 
it was an unreasonable request of them under the cir- 
cumstances to ask it, and of course, he and all his 
friends naturally felt that they ought to be for Walter, 
and it was bad enough, to be sure, if local pride 
should not amount to something ; what he had to 
suggest was, that as he had great interest in other 
parts of the ticket, they, Walter's friends, should name 
three of the delegates to suit themselves ; allow him to 
be the fourth one, with the fair understanding that he 
might vote for Baxter, at least once, if it was sure not 
to elect him, and that he would be with the rest of the 
delegation for Walter on all other occasions ; or, at 
least, whenever they required it." That, he said, would 
let him down easy with the Baxter people and enable 
him to work some little points for his other friends, 
and at the same time do Walter no harm. 

Thus stood the delegation from Adams township 
that night, when Dave Miller had telegraphed Walter 
that it was all right, and it must be said, in justice to 
Slybarr that he had no intention whatever of not car- 
rying out his bargain to the letter, much as he secretly 
would have rejoiced to have seen Walter defeated ; but 
it went without saying that, of course, he was supposed 
to have the rest of the delegation snugly in his vest 
pocket, for all the rest of the ' ' Potato Ring ' ' slate, 
from Sheriff down to Prison Inspectors. 



512 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

To state it briefly, even the night before enough had 
been heard from the adjoining townships, and those 
that could be reached by telegraph, to give the captains 
of all the other candidates to fear that they had prob- 
ably not properly estimated Graham's strength, and giv- 
ing rise to such instinctive expressions, as, " A man 
that has been knocked down by a rebel bullet is prettj^ 
hard to be knocked down as a candidate." 

"Yes, he is a hard man to beat on general princi- 
ples." 

" Yes, I would not be surprised if he would be the 
candidate yet." 

But upon this Sunday night, when Walter reached 
his office to be greeted by his friends with the intelli- 
gence that they had definite reports from every dis- 
strict in the county, and that it was certain he had the 
plurality of the delegates, even he was a little agree- 
ably surprised. In fact, as Tom now had his figures, 
which he had made up from the reports of his faithful 
agents, they were as follows : 

Total number of delegates, 210. 

Graham, 64 

Ba.xter • 55 

Carter, 50 

Irwin, 41 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 
As Tom looked thoughtfully into these figures, with 
drawn eyebrows, amid the ascending smoke from his 
cigar, he did not seem to be as hopefitl as the rest of 
the company, including Birdie, who had now joined 
them. 

He knew that these figures included Slybarr, from 
Adams township, and the two mysterious delegates 
from the Third Ward, one of whom had to vote at 
least once for Baxter, and the other for Irwin, reduc- 



GATHERING THE CROP. 518 

ing Walter really to sixty-one on the first ballot, if 
they should finally decide to let them all fill their con- 
tract the first time ; and to have them vote for these 
respective candidates on a second or a third ballot, 
instead of the first, might give Walter the appearance 
of going backwards, instead of forwards. Exactly 
how that should be arranged was one of the matters of 
detail that Tom would think over and decide for him- 
self. 

But the real peril of Walter's situation at that time 
was, as he expressed it to the trusted few who remained 
after eleven o'clock, "That, after deducting all these, 
and making reasonable allowances for treachery and 
unforeseen contingencies, Graham will probably still 
start off ahead, and that is always a position of peril 
for any candidate ; the field is always liable to organize 
against him." 

"Nonsense," sai4 Boyd, "the unexpected strength 
which he has now shown before the people, will make 
all the other candidates, when they see they are beaten, 
start on the run to see which can be first to claim the 
credit of making Graham." 

" Yes," replied Tom, " but the trouble is, no one of 
the other candidates regard themselves as beaten ; you 
will find they all expect the lightning to strike them 
when the break comes." 

"First time I ever saw a man scared because his 
candidate was too strong," replied Boyd; "don't you 
see what you have always relied on is now being real- 
ized ; that his respectability and the direct appeal, 
which his record as a soldier makes to the patriotic 
sentiment, has already made him stronger than either 
friend or foe anticipated ; and it is bound to put him 
through. I know they are alreadj^ looking gloomy 



514 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

around at the other headquarters, Baxter's as well as 
the rest." 

" Yes, yes," replied Tom, with a shake of his head, 
"I see it all ; in fact, that is all I am afraid of, that it has 
developed itself too soon ; and all that we can do now 
is to keep it going at a constant high pressure until 
the convention meets on Wednesdaj^; it throws us on 
our last reserve power a little too soon I would rather 
see him to-night in Carter's position than where he is. 
I am a little afraid. I repeat, the field maj^ organize 
against him, but we must keep it going now so strong 
that the field itself will be vanquished." 

Little Birdie no'w said, "I tell you where we can 
make a break of one in Carter's delegation. There is 
Dan. Sides, he has been elected as one of his delegates 
from Spire township ; he will do anything I want him 
to ; he will come to us whenever he votes for Carter a 
time or two." 

' ' Yes, yes, ' ' said the Captain. ' ' He is under obliga- 
tion to me, too ; I did him a favor once. He will not 
dare to go back on me." 

As the company dispersed, each going his respec- 
tive way, Tom and Birdie walked along together 
until they reached the latter' s office ; they entered for 
a few minutes, struck the light in the back office, and 
went carefully over the list of delegates once more, and 
all that need be reported of this conversation is, as fol- 
lows : 

"You are sure, then, Birdie, that those two fel- 
lows from the Third Ward can be relied upon ? That 
they will not slip up on us just at the critical 
moment." 



GATHERING THE CROP. 515 

' ' You may bet }'our bottom dollar on it they are all 
right. ' ' 

"And are you sure now that Swinegate regards 
Irwin as lost ? Do you think he is ready to negotiate ?" 

" Oh, I am satisfied he does ; but he is not ready to 
say so to Irwin yet. He declares he has thirty of those 
delegates that he can put just where he pleases. He 
will meet you right here to-night yet, if you stay long 
enough. He only wants to get in without anyone see- 
ing him." 

' ' And 3'ou think we had better send a messenger out 
to Spire to see Sides to-night yet ? ' ' 

" By all means," 

" Then you will attend to it, will you ? " / 

" Yes, sir, I will attend to it." 

"Good-night, then ; I will wait here until Swinegate 
comes. ' ' 

The reader, perhaps, understands by this time, that 
these delegates had all been elected in the different 
election districts, either by instruction as to who the 
choice of the people was for Congressman, or by a choice 
from among different candidates, whose preferences 
were supposed to be understood by the voter, as in the 
Third Ward of Sharwood. 

The contest was one of the most thorough ever 
experienced in Jefferson county for a congressional 
nomination. The people were thoroughly aroused ; 
the vote at the delegate election had been large. It 
would have been almost impossible for any delegate 
to have made an absolute betrayal of his trust without 
receiving the condemnation of his constituents. 

These figures, as Walter's friends had them compiled 
that Sunday evening, might be relied upon as showing 



516 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the strength of the respective candidates on the first 
ballot with considerable accuracy. The margin for 
treachery was indeed small. 

All eyes, all candidates, all workers, were in a high 
state of nervous excitement and suspense as to what 
might be the outcome after the convention assembled, 
and the dead-lock began to wear itself out. 

Up to the Wednesday morning, when the convention 
was assembling, there seemed to be no visible change 
in the situation, except that the general interest had 
deepened. The crowd at the hall was unusually large 
long before the hour for opening the doors. Every- 
body seemed to be impressed that there was going to 
be " a tough fight." 

The tension on the minds of the respective captains 
and candidates had been great, but it was noticeable 
that through it all Major Graham had preserved a 
steady and becoming dignit}'. He seemed calm and 
unexcited, though cheerful and hopeful, to the numer- 
ous friends who were now crowding around. 

He said politely but imperatively to his trusted few 
the last ten minutes before the convention was called 
to order : 

"Remember now, my friends, that I make no con- 
cealment of my desire to be Congressman from this 
district ; but understand another thing equally clearly, 
that while I have not haggled, and do not intend to 
haggle about any legitimate expenses to develop all 
that there is legitimately for me in this campaign, I 
have no money to spend for the purchase of a single 
vote in this conventio nor elsewhere, even if it should 
make me Congressman ; not that I mistrust any of my 
friends, but that in this last pivotal moment which 



GATHERING THE CROP. 517 

sometimes tempts poor human nature, I deem it proper 
that I let my position in the matter be fairly under- 
stood. 

"And now, my friends, trusting that I fully appre- 
ciate all that each of you have done in my behalf, I 
shall keep respectably in the back-ground while you 
finish this fight on your own line of battle and accord- 
ing to your own judgments, thanking you just as 
much if defeated as if successful." 

At exactly ten minutes after eleven the chairman of 
the county committee called the convention to order. 
Every delegate answered to the roll call, and the hall 
was crowded with spectators to its utmost capacity. 

There was not a single contested seat ; all hands 
seemed to recognize that it was to be largely a mere 
contest of endurance. 

The preliminaries of the organization were gone 
through with without an exciting incident. George 
Dowe, a retired farmer and merchant of Becker town- 
ship, was unanimously chosen permanent president. 

It was generally understood that he was a Carter 
man ; but all factions seemed to agree that it would be 
wise to organize without a contest ; and Dowe was a 
man in whose fairness they were all willing to trust. 

It was half-past eleven when President Dowe an- 
nounced that the convention was ready to receive the 
general nominations for Congressman. 

Mr. Light, of the First Ward of Sharwood, arose and 
commenced to nominate John Baxter, of Sharwood, in 
a stilted speech of five minutes, extolling his virtues, 
and endeavoring to relieve his studied sentences by 
some spread-eagle gestures, greatly to the disgust of 



518 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the impatient crowd who were waiting for the voting 
to commence. 

In fact, I have somethimes thought there are few 
things more ludicrous than the ordinary nominating 
speech before a political convention, where the dele- 
gates are either all instructed by their constituents, or 
held well in hand by the bosses whose instructions are 
frequently more potent. 

Three reasons may be given which render, nine 
times out of ten, the nominating speech utterly futile : 

First, the delegates are generally instructed. 

Second, the convention orator is a rare type of man — 
he who has the magnetism, the indescribable some- 
thing which makes men do that which they did not 
intend to, when under the influence of his words. That 
power which we call eloquence, is seldom ever in the 
convention. 

And, third, because, to make his efforts most effec- 
tive, to stampede a convention to a certain result, the 
flood must be taken exactly at its tide; not one minute 
too late, not one minute too early. 

Light took his seat amid an applause as mechanical 
and formal as had been his speech. 

When quiet was restored Professor Baker, at the 
head of the Adams township delegation, arose ; his 
locks were white ; his face was classical ; his form 
erect ; his figure was unique. He was in the sixty- 
second year of his age, but he had never been in a 
political convention as a delegate before. He was there 
now at the special request of Walter Graham, whose 
thought it was to have him head the Adams township 
delegation, and, by the judgment of Tom Swave, who, 
upon mature reflection, had concluded it was the 



GATHERING THE CROP. 519 

proper thing to have him make the nominating speech, 
notwithstanding the other advisers had told him that 
it was not practical politics. 

What the Professor said was, substantially, as follows : 

' ' Mr. President, and gentlemen of the convention : I 
confess to a feeling of considerable diffidence, almost of 
timidity, in rising on this occasion, but the great inter- 
est, the pardonable pride, which I feel in the welfare, the 
private and public career of him in whose behalf I am 
about to say a few words, has caused me to forego all 
hesitancy. 

"In proposing the name of Major Graham to this 
convention as a candidate for Congress, I am proposing 
one whom I have known personally from his early 
childhood up to the present hour. That alone is of 
course no reason why we should nominate him for Con- 
gress to-day, but, when I have known him, so favor- 
ably, known him so well, known him though more than 
twenty years my junior, only to honor him, it is a rea- 
son why I should speak with some feeling on this 
occasion. 

" When I first saw Major Graham he was only ten 
years old. It was a hot July evening; he was standing 
in the middle of Silver creek, with his pant legs rolled 
up to their full extent, endeavoring to drive some cows 
out of the creek which had waded into a deep 
place, far beyond the depth of his wading powers. 

"The cows, having become very contented, quite 
undisturbed by his gesticulations and splashings with 
his stick, he returned to the shore, stripped off, in the 
twinkling of an eye, his not very elaborate supply of 
clothes, took his switch in his hand, and to my great 
astonishment plunged head foremost into the water at 



520 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

its deepest place, swam around with the ease of a frog, 
and drove the cows out before him. 

" Neither do I offer this as a serious reason why he 
should be sent to Congress, but I do contend that it is 
one of the evidences of that strong physical constitu- 
tion and development which are born, first of good 
parentage, then developed in the rugged association 
of farm or workshop, and which are just as essential to 
mental growth and education as schools and colleges, 

" But this is not all that I saw of Walter Graham. I 
saw him pass back and forth to the village public .school, 
the peer of any boy in the neighborhood of his years 
at either physical or mental feat ; but I never heard of 
his being sick. I saw him, when yet a lad, enter my 
own academy for the higher instruction of the boys 
and girls of the neighborhood, pass through it in two 
years with great credit, graduating with the honors of 
his class, as the phrase goes. 

" I saw him start when but yet a boy in his teens for 
the seat of war. 

"Ah ! my friends, what stirring times were those ; it 
seems to me but yesterday, and yet it seems to us all 
now as though it must have been a dream. But still, 
I remember so distinctly the coming home of Walter 
Graham from that war; not the bouyant boy of eighteen, 
without ache, without scar, without blemish, but 
the young major of twenty-one, with features emaci- 
ated from suffering, with body lacerated with wounds. 

"Ah! my friends, than Walter Graham's there is 
no prouder record among all the heroic sons of the 
North who went forth to uphold the nation's honor. 

"Nay, my friends, I saw more. I saw him lean, 
pale as a corpse from his army wounds, on the arm of 



GATHERING THE CROP. 521 

his father, as he walked from the carriage to the win- 
dow to poll his maiden vote for Abraham L,incoln. 
That is the kind of Republican, as well as soldier, we 
offer this convention to-day for Congressman. 

" But not on that alone does his claim rest. I saw 
him rise gradually from that condition to health ; tak- 
ing, during the period of recuperation, such further 
instructions in the higher branches as it was in my 
humble power to give him ; preparing himself thus for 
college. I saw him leave for Ann Arbor, to prepare 
himself for the law, after having paid off the last dollar 
of his father's debt with his own blood-earned money. 

" I have seen him since rise, by virtue of his intellec- 
tual powers, his fidelity to purpose, his probity of char- 
acter, and his stainless private life, to a distinction 
remarkable for one at his age in his profession. 

"Mr. President, such, in brief, are the history, the 
character and qualifications of the man whom we have 
the honor to present here this day as a candidate for 
Congress. Will this convention of the Republican 
party deny him his request ? 

" I have not allowed myself to believe it. I have 
faith in the patriotic sentiment of the people. I do not 
believe that republics are always ungrateful. It is no 
disparagement to any other candidate to be beaten by 
such a rival. Mr. President, I have the honor to nomi- 
nate for Congress, Major Walter Graham." 

The Professor's voice had been a little tremulous, 
almost husky, at the start ; but it gradually grew 
clearer, and filled with a deep pathos, accompanied 
with that sincerity of manner which makes up some- 
thing not far removed from eloquence. 

When he took his seat there followed, for a few sec- 



522 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

onds, a stillness which was far more significant than 
applause. In another second, the cheers broke forth 
with a spontaneity, which was wonderfully in contrast 
with those which had followed Light. 

Tom Swave, who had watched every pulse-beat of 
audience and speaker during the delivery, was now 
well satisfied with his course ; even to the galleries, 
which he had taken the pains to see should have their 
full quota of Graham cheerers, chief among whom was 
Pat. McKnight, who ended them with a loud call for 
three cheers for Graham, which were given with a will. 

Professor Baker's speech had come well nigh up to 
the requirement of eloquence in moving the conven- 
tion ; but it was a little unfortunate in that third ele- 
ment, as to time. Had the vote been taken right then 
it might almost have carried Walter with it on the sec- 
ond ballot ; but heavy and formal speeches had to be 
listened to in nominating Carter and Irwin ; and it was 
not until the last speaker was about through that Tom 
Swave finally decided, in his mind, to allow Slybarr to 
vote on the first ballot for Baxter. He accordingly, 
just before the roll call, gave him the signal, which he 
understood. 

All is silent now ; that scene which was but a 
moment before so turbulent, is now in perfect stillness ; 
the clerks are read}^ and a hundred interested specta- 
tors all through the audience have paper and pencil 
ready to keep tally as the roll is called. 

The first district on the list, of course, is Adams 
township. The first three delegates vote as antici- 
pated. The fourth call is Joshua E. Slybarr. The 
answer goes up " Baxter ! " 

A slight sensation in the midst of delegates and 



GATHERING THE CROP. 523 

spectators, which sa3^s in unexpressed words : that 
looks bad for Graham ; there is a break-down right at 
the start ; he should have been able to have held his 
old township solid. It appears Potewright has a pretty 
solid grip on that township. 

The vote proceeds till the Third Ward, Sharwood, is 
reached ; all ears are strained to hear the responses 
from those delegates ; as Irwin receives one vote and 
Baxter one, Graham's friends again shake their heads 
with misgivings. The Baxter men look well pleased ; 
but Tom Swave sits undisturbed in his seat as one of 
the Fifth Ward delegates. The President says : " The 
clerks agree in their count. I announce the result of 
the first ballot, as follows : 

Graham, 6i 

Baxter, 57 

Carter, 50 

Irwin, 42 

Necessary for a choice, 106." 
The convention again proceeded to ballot, Adams 
township leading off as she did before, until Joshua 
E. Slj^barr was called. This time the answer went up, 
" Graham." 

From that time on the vote is listened to with sus- 
pense, as ever}- delegate answers to his name ; espec- 
ially as the Third Ward is called, which recorded itself 
exactly as before. The end is reached. Again the 
President announces the result. Second ballot : 

Graham, 62 

Baxter, 56 

Carter, 50 

Irwin, 42 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 
The Baxter men did not look quite so radiant as 



524 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

the}' did after the first ballot ; but the Carter and Irwin 
people smiled blandly. 

The convention again proceeded to ballot. Listen ! 
The Third Ward is being called there ; that is three 
for Graham this time from the Third, a gain of one. 
lyisten ! the President is announcing the result. Third 
ballot : 

Graham 63 

Baxter, 56 

Carter, 50 

Irwin 41 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 
The convention again proceeds to ballot. The Presi- 
dent again announces the result, as follows : Fourth 
ballot : 

Graham, 64 

Baxter, 55 

Carter, 50 

Irwin, 41 

At this crisis a Baxter delegate rises and moves the 
convention adjourn until half-past two o'clock. 

The calm is a hurricane ; in an instant twenty dele- 
gates are on their feet at once, shouting, "No!" 
" No ! " " Yes ! " "Yes ! " at the top of their voices. 
" Question ! " " Question ! " etc. It is finally put. 
The Baxter men and Irwir men seem to be pretty 
unanimous for adjournment. 

The Graham and Carter men not. The vote is taken 
" viva voice." " The No's appear to have it ; the No's 
have it," says President Dowe. 

A division was not called for. The convention again 
proceeded to ballot. 

A dead silence again follows the storm while the roll 



GATHERING THE CROP. 525 

is being called ; all proceeds as usual until Spire 
township is reached. The reading clerk calls " Daniel 
D.. Sides." 

Hark ! the answer, " Graham ! " 
This was the first break in the Carter ranks ; they 
had been serene under the other ballots, and had just 
voted against adjournment. This single vote was 
unexpected to them and fell upon them with a heavy- 
thud, which seemed to say, if we expect to be the 
go-between we should not have lost on this ballot. 

The announcement of Sides' vote was also received 
with cheers for Graham in the galler}-, which the 
President endeavored to suppress. The vote proceeds 
to the end. Hark ! the President announces the result. 
Fifth ballot : 

Graham, 65 

Baxter, 55 

Carter, 49 

Irwin, 41 

Necessar}' to a choice, 106. 

A Carter delegate now arose and moved that the 
convention adjourn until half past two o'clock. This 
time the motion carried. 

Yes, Tom, this is the first time the whole field turned 
in against you ; but you have done all that could be 
done, and shown good judgment in not developing 
your full strength on the first ballot. You have kept 
Walter gaining one each time ; but then you have 
thrown your last reserve into action ; if the field should 
happen to organize against you during the recess, Wal- 
ter would be lost. 

" But then, we know, of course, Tom, that 5'ou will 
not be idle from now until half-past two, any more 
than the rest." 



526 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Yes, even Professor Baker has told Slybarr that 
if his candidate for SheriJ0F and Prison Inspectors are 
as reputable men as the others, he will help him 
through on them." 

Yes, Tom, you understand there is always a little 
ring inside of a ring ; and, now, if Swinegate can do 
what he says he can, 3'ou believe you can capture the 
convention j-et after dinner, though you would have 
preferred it not to have adjourned. 

After diimer has come ; the convention has taken the 
sixth ballot. It is precisely as the fifth : 

Graham, 65 

Baxter 55 

Carter, 49 

Irwin, 41 

Necessary to a choice, 106. 

" There has not been much gained to any one dur- 
ing the adjournment," begins to be whispered among 
the spectators. 

" This is going to be a long siege," says one. 

" The next ballot will decide whether there is going 
to be any break or not," said another, who seemed to 
look as if he was rather better informed than the rest. 

The seventh ballot has commenced ; all parties are 
in high expectancy now, including Tom Swave. "Yes, 
this is the ballot which is to tell you, Tom, whether 
Swinegate will do what he has promised you, whether 
he can do what he has promised you, or whether the 
natural affinity between Baxter and Irwin's followers 
will prove stronger than the natural jealousy between 
the two men themselves." 

Yes ; all these things, Tom, both you and the 
reader must think over for yourselves ; all that the 



GATHERING THE CROP. 527 

writer can say at present is, that when the break 
comes in political conventions the fragments do not 
always fly in the exact direction the philosophers pre- 
dicted thc}^ would ; and that this case was rather an 
exemplification of that fact. 

Instead of Swinegate being able to deliver thirty of 
Irwin's delegates over .solidly to Graham, he received 
just fifteen ; sixteen flew to Baxter, and ten remained 
loyal to Irwin. 

Hark ! Amid suppressed silence, the President is 
announcing the seventh ballot : 

Graham, 80 

Baxter, 71 

Carter 49 

Irwin, 10 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 

Upon the announcement of this result, the excite- 
ment and commotion is everywhere ; the delegates 
hopping back and forth among each other for a final 
dicker ; but order is restored ; the convention again 
proceeds to ballot, and reached precisely the same 
result. Eighth ballot : 

Graham, 80 

Baxter, 71 

Carter, 49 

Irwin, 10 

Necessar}- for a choice, 106. 

" This is the first time I ever saw that happen," said 
one wise-acre ; " after one man's forces began to break 
the next ballot remained exactly the same." 

"Yes, but you see Graham has still kept a steady 
lead," said another. 



528 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" Yes, but Baxter gained more in the break-up than 
he did." 

"Yes," said an old Dutchman, " dis is der mosht 
shtubborn convention I eber did see. ' ' 

"Oh! what are you talking about," said another 
young man. " Graham's going to get there ; I'll bet 
you ten dollars." 

Now the Graham men are moving to adjourn until 
eight o'clock this evening. 

There, the motion is lost ; the field is again united 
against him. Ninth ballot : 

Graham, 80 

Baxter, 73 

Carter, 47 

Irwin, TO 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 

At the close of this ballot, Tom vSwave, amid the 
wildest confusion, again rose and moved they take a 
recess until eight o'clock this evening. Vociferous 
shouts of "Yes! Yes!" " No ! No!" again went forth, 
but the motion carried this time by a vote, 120 to 90, on 
roll call. 

- During this rece.ss the excitement was intense, and 
it was useless to disguise the fact that the Baxter men 
were far more jubilant than they were during the noon 
adjournment ; and the Graham men, secretly, a little 
more depressed. But the triumph of the last motion 
to adjourn was rather understood to be their victory. 

The feeling was now universal that the evening ses- 
sion must decide it ; to carry an ordinar}^ congressional 
convention over to the second day would have been 
beyond precedent in Jefferson count3\ 



GATHERING THE CROP. 529 

Walter and his friends looked upon the situation 
now as substantially this : the Carter people must first 
be convinced that he has no chance to be dropped 
to as a compromise candidate, and then after that we 
rest upon the natural tendenc}" of their people to drop 
to us. 

In the evening, as the convention was assembling, a 
long delegation with band came marching through 
the throng with a transparency bearing the words, 
' ' For Congress, Major Walter Graham. Wounded three 
times in the service of his country. A Republican 
from boyhood." 

When the convention assembled ever}' delegate found 
upon his seat the following circular: "Walter Gra- 
ham, enlisted as a private August 1 1, 1861, in Company 
B, Sevent3'-fifth regiment, at the age of eighteen. 
Participated in seventeen engagements of the war, 
inchiding Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, Chaplain Hill, 
Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, Wilderness and Cold 
Harbor. Mustered out as major January- 27th, 1865, 
for physical disability, caused b}- being shot through 
the left lung at Cold Harbor. A thorough Republican ; 
a capable and upright man. Has any candidate 
stronger claims before this convention?" 

The flood tide outside and in the galleries, all, now 
seemed to be for Graham ; what effect it would have 
on stoic and practical delegates who were there to 
obey their masters and not the hurrahs of the multi- 
tude would soon be tested. Sufiice it to say, that one 
man, who did not generally allow his impulses to run 
awa\^ with him, was heard to sa}^ " There is victory in 
the air for Graham. They can't beat him." 

23 



530 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" No; nor be should not be beaten," said another. 
But we must be brief. The convention is already 
balloting. L,isten to the result. Tenth ballot : 

Graham, 8i 

Baxter, 75 

Carter 45 

Irwin, 9 

Necessary for a choice, 106. 

Potewright sends the following note over to Slybarr : 
' ' Now is your time to desert Graham. Keep Baxter going 
up. The Carter people will come to us next time." 

Potewright. 

Tom Swave got up, walked across the room to the 
Adams township delegation, shook his head ominously 
at Slybarr, and whispered something to Jack Matson, 
one of the other delegates, whereupon Jack turned a 
savage look upon Slybarr, and said, " Remember Pat. 
McKnight;" and Slybarr, remembering Pat. McKnight, 
looked at Jack with a grim smile, consigned Pote- 
wright to a region of eternal heat, and said, " Whj', 
of course, I am all right for Graham to the last ; I am 
a man of my word." And just then a voice from the 
platform shouted out: " Remember -Cold Harbor." 
And just then the reading clerk was calling Adams 
township for the next ballot, and Professor Baker 
arose and said : 

' ' Mr. President, we have not forgotten ' Cold Har- 
bor.' My vote is always Graham y 

And just then one spontaneous yell broke forth from 
the audience, followed by three cheers for Graham. 

While the rest of the delegation ^vas voting for Gra- 
ham, Slybarr included, with only Andover borough to 
come before Becker township. President Dowe stepped 



GATHERING THK CROI*. 531 

back a few paces on the platform and whispered in 
the ear of Evans, the editor of the Merairy, "We 
may as well settle this matter right now, I reckon." 
" Go ahead," nodded Evans. 

Becker township is already called. 

" George F. Dowe," cries out the reading clerk. 

The audience has become accustomed to the answer 
—"Carter." 

But behold ! President Dowe is just stepping back 
to his chair. He answers in clear, distinct tones, 
" Graham." 

Again a loud yell goes up from the audience as the 
other two delegates from the convention follow suit. 

"That settles it," says Tom's brother delegate from 
the Fifth Ward, "let us send word immediately to 
Graham." 

"Yes, that decides it," replied Tom, "but don't 
start the messenger until after the vote is over." 

The rest of the ballot proceeded amid a silence that 
was eloquent, a suspense that was terrible. 

When the ballot is being taken after a long contest 
in a nominating convention, which everybody feels is the 
decisive one, the seconds are hours. The hearts of can- 
didate and friend are palpitating like that of the j'oung 
lover who awaits the whispered answer from the lips 
of the maiden, like the soldier who awaits the next 
command that is to plunge him into the thickest of 
the fight, like the drowning man who waits for the 
rescue boat to arrive. 

Especially now, when the vote is running closer 
than they thought after all. Yes, it may take another 
ballot yet. The Carter men are not breaking as gen- 
erally as was expected. 



582 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

They are two-thirds the way down the list now. Yes, 
this ballot is going to do it, after all. 

Hark ! The President is announcing it. Eleventh 

ballot : 

Graham, ......113 

Baxter 81 

Carter, 11 

Irwin 5 

Necessary to a choice, 106. 

"Major Graham having received 113 votes, I now 
declare him the nominee of this convention for Con- 
gress. ' ' 

No sooner had these words fallen from President 
Dowe's lips, and the applause subsided, than one of 
Baxter's delegates rose, and in a husky and subdued 
voice moved that the nomination of Major Graham be 
made unanimous. It was promptly seconded by both 
an Irwin and a Carter man and passed with the usual 
formality. While Walter's friends made a rush to his 
office to tender their congratulations. 

In the midst of the throng he turned to his desk, and 
wrote : 

"Dear Blanch : — All right ; I was nominated on the eleventh 
ballot, receiving 113 votes, 7 more than necessary. 

Walter. ' ' 

Sealing it in an envelope, and addressing it, he 
handed it to the messenger boy, saying, " Take that to 
Mrs. Graham, immediately." 

The reader has, of course, understood all along that 
this district has a safe Republican majority. That this 
nomination is therefore equivalent to an election. 

Yes, Walter, the long contest is over. You are a 
Congressman. The dream 3'ou spoke of in the old stone 
school house, twenty-two years ago, is realized. As 



GATHERING THK CROP. 533 

you spoke it then, ambitious youth of thirteen, your 
eyes looked up and met Maggie Bernard's. As you 
realize it now, sturdy man of thirty-five, you already 
wonder if the game has been worth the hunt. You 
only know for sure, that in the midst of all these 
congratulations 3'our heart goes up in that envelope 
with all the avidity of a wooer to Blanch. You release 
5'ourself from your friends as soon as you gracefully 
can, and start for the house. The town clock has just 
struck midnight. Blanch is still sitting by the half 
open door that opens out to the little side porch, while 
the light burns low within ; as she basks in the soft 
June air, and li.stens to the hum of the insects among 
the trees, she hears your footsteps on the pavement. 

The door opens, she rushes into your arms, saying, 
" Well, old boy, you're a Congressman at last." 

"Yes, Blanch, a Congressman at last; and now, 
will I ever be a statesman f ' ' 

"Yes, Walter, if you only avoid being a politician. 
Only ' mind the Light ' as your good mother says." 




CHAPTER XXX. 

THE AFTERMA TH. 

TT 7 ALTER GRAHAM did not get to his office 
^ ^ quite as early as usual the next morning. As 
it was after one o'clock before he and Blanch retired, 
he was not in a hurry to rise ; even then there still 
seemed to be a great man}' things to talk over at the 
breakfast table, which detained him still longer. 

But, late as he was, he found he was in ample time 
to meet the delegates and men who had championed 
his cause, if it had been they alone who were coming 
to tender their congratulations. 

The convention, which, as the Dutchman said, had 
been ' ' the most stubborn they ever did see, ' ' had 
resolved to finish its labors the night before without 
adjournment. 

It was, therefore, ten minutes of two o'clock when 
they had nominated their county and other officers 
and were ready for adjournment. 

The political gladiators had retired worn and ex- 
hausted. No one seemed in a hurry to rouse them 
from their slumbers to congratulate them on their 
part of the work. 

Thus Tom Swave, and Birdie, and Boyd, and 
the Captain, as well as Potewright and Swinegate, 
were still sleeping at 9 o'clock In fact, practical poli- 
ticians do not, as a rule, care so much about congratu- 
lations as they do about success itself ; give them votes 
when they are in distress and they will not quarrel 
about the applause of the platform. 



THE AFTERMATH. 535 

As for Tom, he was only acting on Napoleon's 
maxim, "The news being good, I prefer to sleep on; 
it is only when it is bad that I desire to be awak- 
ened." 

But the friends who were already calling on Walter 
when he reached his office, were Rev. Mr. Barnes, 
Professor Paist, of the High School, a few merchants 
and tradesmen, and some of the older members of the 
bar, who made no pretence at politics. 

He had already received, the evening before, con- 
gatulatory messages from all the other candidates for 
the office, couched in polite but formal language, con- 
ceding his victory fairly won, and promising him their 
hearty support at the general contest. 

He looked over the morning papers to see their 
various comments. That of the Herald read as fol- 
lows : "The convention yesterday, after a long and 
persistent, but orderly, contest, nominated Major Wal- 
ter Graham for Congress on the eleventh ballot. It is 
useless for the He7-ald to say that the nomination is 
a strong one and will receive the hearty indorsement 
of every Republican in the district. The people all 
know that fact without our reminding them of it. 
Personall}^ we are sorry for our old friend Baxter, but, 
beyond that, the Herald always did sympathize with 
Graham, and recognized his strong claims. We are 
content, and are for the whole ticket." 

The Merctiry said : " Yesterday's convention was the 
most memorable that Jefferson county has witnessed 
for thirty years. The quadrangular shape which 
the contest for Congress assumed, the disintegration 
of elements that should have been for Mr. Carter, has 
lost to us the ability and experience which he would 
have brought to us and to the district. 



536 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"Because of his riper years and more mature judg- 
ment, the Mercury had hoped that he might be made 
the candidate ; and with a fairly drawn contest against 
either Baxter or Irwin, or both, he would have been. 
Mr. Carter has the comfort, however, of knowing that 
while his defeat was compassed by an unfortunate com- 
bination of circumstances, and b}- methods that need 
not be mentioned, his own character is unsoiled. 

"Against the 3-oung man who secured the nomination 
we have naught to say ; he brought to his support a 
high personal character, and a generous sentiment 
which his services to his country well deserved. We 
trust and believe he will make a creditable member of 
Congress. ' ' 

The Age, the Democratic organ of the county, and 
the one which reported Walter's Shocktown speech 
eighteen years before, said : " The Republican conven- 
tion, yesterday, after a long and disgraceful wrangle, 
nominated for Congress, Major Walter Graham. He 
is, comparatively, a young man of about thirty -five, a 
lawyer of fair ability, with a creditable soldier record. 

"His chief element of strength, however, over the 
other older and abler candidates before the convention 
was, that he is married to a rich wife, and conse- 
quently able to subscribe liberally to all the brass 
band delegations and other contingent campaign funds 
so essential to Republican success." 

The Frankliji News, the Republican organ of Frank- 
lin county, said : "The Republican convention of Jef- 
ferson count}^ did its work yesterday faithfully and 
well. The contest was earnest, running through three 
sessions of the convention, but, withal, in good feeling. 

"No better, no more satisfactory choice to the Repub- 



THE AFTERMATH. 537 

licans of this county could have been made. Our con- 
ferrees will ratify the nominations without demur. 

"Major Graham, though only in his thirty-sixth year, 
is not unknown to the people of Franklin county. He 
was here as one of the attorneys in the Watts case, in 
our court ; and his voice has been heard in various 
places throughout her borders in behalf of Republican 
principles. And more than that, we have soldiers 
here in our town, who were with the young Major at 
Shiloh, at Vicksburg, the Wilderness, and elsewhere, 
who know of his sterling qualities as a soldier. He is 
of the class of men the Republican party delights to 
honor. 

"All hail, Major Graham ! for he shall be our Con- 
gressman hereafter." 

As Walter picked up each paper to read its com- 
ments, he thought to himself, " I am no longer a sen- 
sitive boy of seventeen, and must be ready to take with 
perfect composure whatever comes. Every candidate 
for public office in this countr}- must expect to pass 
under the ordeal of public criticism, free competition 
and newspaper satire. While my honor and character 
are safe, as, thank God, I know they are, and my 
name unconnected with any public scandal, they may 
say what they please. I will not allow it to annoy me 
in the least " Indeed, as he laid each paper down, he 
thought its tone was quite as friendly and kind as he 
had any right to expect ; including even that of the 
Age, which he knew would have had some good- 
natured satire to poke at the party and the candidate, 
no difference who he might have been. 

And yet, the more he read over the words of the Age, 
the more he thought, " I wish they had not made that 



538 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

reference to Blanch. Of course, I suppose thej' mean 
nothing by it. But still, why need they have alluded to 
it? I guess I will just throw the paper into the waste 
basket, and perhaps she will never see it. Oh, no ! 
She is a full grown woman, as I am a man — let her see 
it along with the rest. I wonder, however, if that is 
the way the public look upon me, as simply a mere 
nobody, living on the income of a rich wife. Pshaw ! 
I hate it on Blanch's account. I hope she will not be 
sensitive about it." 

At the dinner hour, as Blanch read over these com- 
ments, she said, "Why, Walter, the papers are all 
quite complimentary to you ; even the Ag-e, which has 
been kind enough to remember me." 

"Yes, yes," replied Walter, smiling ; "I was won- 
dering how you would enjoy your part of the compli- 
ment. ' ' 

"Oh, it don't worry me in the least, Walter, if it 
don't you." 

"Ah, Blanch, you always were the most sensible 
girl." 

"Well, I suppose since the Age knows so much 
about our business, and I am supposed to subscribe 
my share, that note of Tom Swave's for one thousand 
dollars may as well be thrown into the fire." 

"Yes, Blanch," replied Walter, still smiling, "that 
note may as well be thrown into the fire," and they both 
went trippingly out to dinner. 

After dinner Blanch followed Walter into the library 
and said, " Walter, I don't like that article in the Ag-e ; 
it does annoy me." 

' ' Why ? ' ' said Walter. 

" Oh, because I do not like it on your account. I do 



THE AFTERMATH. 539 

dislike anything that seems to make me more promi- 
nent than you." 

" Will you not let me just make the deed of the home 
here to you at once ? And one of those houses on Grant 
street, else that farm in Adams township? I would 
sooner have it appear that you own most of the real 
estate." 

Walter clasped her in his arms, saying, "No, no, 
Blanch, you will do nothing of the kind ; we know our 
own business, and it don't concern us what the world 
thinks about it ; besides, have not I as much right to 
be proud of your individuality of character and stand- 
ing in the community as you have of mine." 

"Yes, but I do dislike these things that- make it 
look as though I were running the business," said 
Blanch, half poutingly. 

"Oh, well, don't I own real estate of my own?" 
said Walter, laughing again as he released her from his 
grasp, and began to start. " Look at that old shop in 
Shocktown that Dave and I own in partnership ; and 
those two houses I bought in Shilp alley last winter at 
sheriffs sale," and he began looking for his hat. 

"Yes, and you only bought them to help other 
people out of difficulty," replied Blanch. 

" Well, you know that is very different from the way 
you do business yourself," replied Walter, with a 
good-natured satire which she well understood. 

"Well, I do hate it anyhow," replied Blanch, as 
Walter passed through the door. " That old mean 
Democratic Age, it made fun of you twenty years 
ago," and her eyes followed him as he walked down 
the street. 

When Walter reached his office he found Swinegate 



540 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

in waiting. The}' had never spent, all told, ten min- 
utes of their lives in social conversation with each 
other before ; but the latter was there now for the pur- 
pose of telling Walter how he alwa3's had admired his 
course and valued his friendship, and what an effort he 
had made to prevent Irwin from being a candidate in 
the first place, and what personal sacrifices he had 
made to get so large a portion of Irwin's delegates to 
finally go for him. 

Swinegate had gone but a few minutes, when Pote- 
wright appeared to congratulate him on his gallant 
fight, and to assure him that they only stuck to Baxter 
as long as they did, because the Carter people had 
betrayed them ; that they still promised them each 
ballot they would come to Baxter next time, thereby 
giving them hope to the last. Whereupon he assured 
Walter that he and Baxter had both resolved to go for 
him at any moment, if either of the other candidates 
gave evidences of winning. 

Walter received both these chieftains politely, and 
listened courteously to their explanations ; but, trust- 
ing as his nature had been in childhood, he could not 
help but smile incredulously after each had left the 
office. He endeavored to settle down once more to 
work . 

An hour later, when he related these experiences to 
Tom Swave, the latter shook his head and smiled a 
very expressive smile, as he said, " They were both 
burning with a desire to be for you at the proper time, 
were they ? ' ' 

" It appears so," replied Walter. 

" I will tell 3'ou, Walter, just now while I think of 
it," continued Tom, " what might be borne in mind. If 



THK AFTKRMATH. 541 

that postmaster at Spireville, who is supposed to be 
now lying on his death- bed, should die, it might be 
well enough to consult Dan. Sides before his successor 
is appointed." 

"Well, I suppose we will try to be guided by the 
proper equities of the case when it arrives," replied 
Walter ; " at all events, I suppose the appointment will 
hardly be made without your knowing something about 
it. But, by the way, Tom, what can I do for you 
yourself? " 

Tom looked at him with an earnest expression, which 
Walter well understood was Tom's earnest side, not to 
say sad one, as he replied, "Get me a consulship, to 
New Zealand, to Australia, or any other English-speak- 
ing province with pay enough attached to it to keep 
me alive." 

" Wh5\ Tom, you don't mean that, do you? " 

"Yes, I do. I want to get out of the country; 
good-by. I will talk further with you about it some 
other time." 

Of course, 3-ou all know what the nature of the edi- 
torial in the Press was the next Saturday morning. It 
spoke of the nominee as a "young man in the prime 
of life, with far more than ordinary ability, self-poised, 
just and honest ; modest in victorj% calm in defeat ; 
thorough in research ; and possessing all the elements 
of the successful representative, who should be con- 
tinued indefinitely." 

But it was that same Saturday morning when Walter 
opened his mail that he found among it the congratu- 
lation which he appreciated, perhaps, most of all. It 
was as follows : 



542 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Martin's Cross Roads, June 6, 1878. 
Friend Walter : 

Perhaps you will not consider it too much trouble to read a 
few congratulatory lines from your old friend, who may not be 
able to see you personally. 

The success which has attended your career is, in my 
opinion, not unmerited, and I believe, will contiuue with you as 
long as you remain true to your principles and conduct your- 
self properl^^ 

I can scarcely realize, Walter, that you were yesterday nomi- 
nated for Congress ; for it seems to me but yesterday- since I 
saw you stirring about the neighborhood a boj' in your teens, 
and listening attentively at times to your father and some of 
us discussing so interestedly the momentous questions which 
have since convulsed the nation. 

Indeed, I sometimes think yet, Walter, those questions are 
the only ones which create politics in our country ; the right of 
the enfranchised race to his vote in the South, is, in my 
opinion, the prominent question in American politics, and will 
become the supreme test of our greatest statesmen, to which 
plane I hope you may rise. At present, let me caution you, my 
boy, steer clear of the Greenback craze, which seems to be start- 
ing over the country-. You can afford to be defeated at the 
election, if it should come to that, but you cannot afford to tem- 
porize with repudiation, which is really the proper name for 
unlimited paper money. 

But you will excuse me, Walter, for not writing more, and 
for calling you my boy ; it seems so natural. I am obliged to 
remember occasionally that I am an old man, seventy-five 
years old, and do not get around as much as I once did, though 
I have no reason to complain of my general health. 

Our little eleven-year-old grandson seeius to be the chief 
man about the place now ; he and I, between us, manage to 
take care of the horse and cow. 

Mrs. Williamson joins in her congratulations, and both of us 
would be pleased to see you, if but for a few minutes, if you 
come out to your father's this summer. 

If we live until the 20th of November, we will celebrate our 
golden wedding. I am, yours very truly, 

John Wii<tiAMSON. 



THK AFTERMATH. 543 

This letter was answered as follows : 

Sharwood, June 8, 1878. 
My Dear Old Friend : 

I wish I could tell you how much good your letter has done 
me ; and how I hope to profit by every word of it. That I 
endorse the sentiments you express, as to the political situation 
of the country, is hardly necessary for me to say, who sat as a 
boy so attentively atyour feet and imbibed so thoroughly your 
political gospel. 

Yes, Mr. Williamson, I remember very distinctly, one beauti- 
ful Sunday afternoon when you alluded to yourself then as "old 
John Williamson," though only fifty-seven, and prophesied that 
if I lived to be as old as 3'ou I would see a war in this country 
on the slavery question. 

Alas, what has happened since then ? It is not much wonder 
that we old people of thirty-five and seventy-five begin to tell 
our children and grandchildren that a good deal has happened 
since we were young. 

Blanch joins me in sa^-ing that we will visit you next month 
when we are out at father's. 

Trusting that I may not disappoint my friends in the new 
position I am to assume, and that you and Mrs. W. may not 
only be spared until November, but for many more returns 
of that eventful day, I subscribe m3'self, 

Yours very truly, 

Walter Graham. 



%F^^ 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



THE SECOND REIWKXW. 



TT IS the 2Sth of February, 1881. The House has 
^ adjourned until Tuesday morning. Walter Gra- 
ham is reclining on the lounge reading a paper in the 
library of his comfortable though not palatial residence, 
in Washington. It is four da3'S 3'et until the 4th of 
March, but Washington is already beginning to put on 
her inaugural appearance. 

That quadrennial event which brings to her streets 
all the wise and patriotic men of the nation is near at 
hand. 

That event brings to Washington, as some reader 
has already said in satire, "That innumerable horde 
of patriots who have rendered some inestimable 
service to their party, are coming to the inaugura- 
tion to see that those services are properly appreciated ; 
to remind an incoming administration that the first 
and most urgent business on hand is to provide for 
them some good lucrative place in some of the depart- 
ments." Before this grand army of devotees get 
through with their work of inaugurating a new Presi- 
dent, the}' are, many of them, quite glad to secure a 
place to lay their heads and leave the place in the 
Treasury Department or Interior Department go for 
the present. For the hotel proprietor looks over his 
registry and sees the long list of distinguished arrivals 
from distant parts, while the agents of various delega- 
tions are around him searching for comfortable quarters. 



THE SKCOND REUNION. 545 

and begins to decide rapidly in his mind how much he 
will advance rates, as he announces "the house is 
full." The boarding-house mistress beholds the great 
overflow and smiles complacentl3\ All the clerks who 
have already soft places in the departments, have 
received letters from friends in the States to know if 
they will have a spare-bed ; and they laugh out 
right as they conceive the idea of turning an extra 
penny. 

What matters it that the President has not yet arrived 
himself, and will not be there until Wednesday ? The 
preparation will go on all the same ; for, though clouds, 
and darkness, and snow drifts, may lie before him, the 
great Pennsylvania Railroad will get him there in time. 
Though hail storms and rain storms may sweep along 
old Pennsylvania Avenue on the following Friday, the 
President will be inaugurated all the same ; the ardor 
of patriots ma}- be a little chilled, but the office-seeker 
will go on forever, and the government at Washington 
will still live. 

The official breath has not expired from the departing 
President until it is inhaled by his successor. "The 
King never dies," says the English maxim. 

There is in the official world an instantaneous trans- 
migration of souls. No difference if the expiring Presi- 
dent is detained a few minutes late at his room in the 
Capitol affixing his signature to important bills, which 
are being ground out at the rate of twenty an hour 
during the expiring hours of Congress, he must have 
time to read their titles and write his name as the 
messengers run breathless to him with the last legisla- 
tive hand work. If the worst should come to the 
worst, the hands on the clock can be stopped for five 



546 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

minutes before the speaker lets his gavel fall and says, 

" I declare the forty-sixth Congress adjourned, sine 
die.'' No fine technicalities will ever rise up to test 
the constitutionality of these laws, for the most of them 
are appropriation bills, and, of course, the faithful ser- 
vants of the people must be paid. What motive could 
anyone possibly hav^e for testing their legality. Even the 
Judges of the Supreme Court themselves have been 
guilty of drawing their pay. 

With these scenes incident to Washington life Hon. 
Walter Graham had become tolerably well acquainted, 
as he reclined that Monday evening on his sofa ; for, be 
it remembered, it was the first Monday of December, 
1879, that he first made his official appearance in the 
House of Representatives as a member thereof. 

Of the fifteen months that had since elapsed, he 
had spent the greater part in Washington. The 
interval which occurred between the adjournment 
of the long session the previous summer, and the con- 
vening of the present short session, he had devoted 
largely to the election of General Garfield, whose 
inauguration as President was now about to take place. 

Walter had become acquainted with Garfield the 
previous session as a brother member of the House ; 
he had seen him leave his seat the previous June for a 
short time as leader of the Ohio delegation to champion 
the cause of John Sherman for President in the Chicago 
convention ; he saw him come back after the most 
memorable political convention ever assembled on this 
continent (except only the one alluded to in Chapter 
V), the nominee of that convention himself. He 
was now to see him inaugurated the following Friday 
as President of the United States. 



THK SECOND REUNION. 547 

But, when Walter arrived in Washington on the ist 
of December, 1879, for the purpose of assuming his 
official duties, the first member of the house who came 
to greet him was Andrew Jackson Clinton, from North 
Carolina. 

Since the meeting of Clinton and Walter referred to 
in Chapter XXIV, there had been maintained between 
them a constant business and professional intercourse 
as well as the same warm personal feeling which had 
always existed. They met each other on the occasion 
referred to — of Walter's first appearance as a member 
of Congress — with the most mutual good feeling ; but 
Walter could not refrain from saying, "Well, Clinton, 
if I had been told, the day the news reached us at Ann 
Arbor of Lee's surrender, that you would have pre- 
ceded me two years as a member of Congress, I would 
at least have said that is the word of a dreamer." 

"Well, I must say, I would have looked upon it a 
little in that light myself, Graham ; but you don't 
regret it, do you ? You were for universal amnesty 
from the start, you remember." 

" Yes, I was, and I don't regret your being here in 
Congress in advance of me ; but I do insist that impar- 
tial suffrage shall be scrupulously observed a:nong 
you. You can expect no permanent peace or lasting 
prosperity to your section until that requirement is 
complied with." 

But it is not necessary to detain ourselves now to tell 
all their conversation then. It is to this evening of the 
28th of February, 1881, that we will now confine our- 
selves, for it is of Clinton also that we have some- 
what to speak, 

Blanch has just entered the room where Walter is 



548 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

resting, and said, "Then Clinton will be here to-night 
too, will he, Walter?" 

"That is the arrangement." 

"Do you think you can get that business entirely 
closed up to-night? " continued Blanch. 

"That is the idea," replied Walter, "we want to 
have the papers finally executed. Will, has tele- 
graphed nie, you know, that he and Emma will be 
here at 7:30." 

Will, and Emma, who were they ? Will. Morton 
and his wife, Emma Reed Morton. 

The provision that Mr. Morton had made in his will 
for Mrs. Reed and her daughter was subsequently 
altered, for they were otlierwi.se provided for, and 
entirely to his satisfaction. 

The bright June day, on which Blanch brought him 
a son-in-law, was swiftly followed by a chill November 
one on which Will, brought him a daughter-in-law; 
and he was content. The son and the son-in-law, the 
daughter and the daughter-Tn-law, are all seated around 
the son-in-law's table this evening, consummating their 
business. Clinton, also, is there, with his budget of 
papers swelling the pile Will. Morton brought with 
him. It is half-past nine; the business is completed; 
the notary gone. 

vStrange transition! The fee-simple of Mount Airy 
is now in Mrs. Sarah Reed, widow of George Wash- 
ington Reed, deceased ; her daughter Emma Reed 
Morton (wife of Will. Morton) and Walter Graham. 

Yes, the business is over. Now for a little socia- 
bility. 

"Well, how did you leave all the folks up about 
Mansdale and Shocktown, Emma?" inquired Clinton ; 
' ' how is your mother now ? ' ' 



THE SECOND REUNION. 549 

" Oh, mother is real well ; she had almost a mind to 
come with us to Washington." 

' ' I wish she had done so ; I reckon she will get 
down to North Carolina next summer, will she, to see the 
old place, since she has such a personal interest in it? " 

" Oh, I shouldn't wonder; strange things have hap- 
pened ; she used to sa}- she never wanted to see the 
place again ; but that revives unpleasant memories, and 
besides, our feelings have undergone a considerable 
change since then." 

" Oh yes, you all seem to be too happy and comfort- 
ably fixed in life now, to think of anything unpleasant. 
Do you know, I often think of that pleasant day we had 
together on the occasion of the marriage of Walter's 
sister ? ' ' 

" Wasn't that a lovely time ?" exclaimed Emma and 
Blanch in concert ; " especially the toasts." 

' ' What became of the bride and groom ? ' ' asked 
Clinton. " Has Mr. Miller become famous like yourself, 
Graham ? ' ' 

"Acquired all the fame he wants, I guess," replied 
Walter. ' ' His ambitions are not as lofty as those of 
the rest of us. You know there have to be some quiet 
stay-at-home people in the world, who mind their own 
business and keep business going." 

' ' I think he has attended to his business well enough 
to succeed with it at least," replied Will. Morton. 
" He and his father have one corner of what used to be 
Graham's field all built over with shops." 

"Well, that is very nice, I am sure," replied Clin- 
ton. "Those are the kind of men we would like to 
have come down to North Carolina and go into manu- 
facturing carriages for us." 



550 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I guess Dave and his wife are both content to stay 
about Shocktown," said Blanch. 

" Mr. Clinton, I thought you would have been able 
to have introduced us to your wife by this time," said 
Emma, with great good humor. 

How opportunely that observation came, Emma ; it 
gives us such an opportunity to tell all about it, and to 
relieve the reader's curiosity on that question. No, 
Clinton has not been able to present his wife to anyone 
as yet, for the simple reason he has never had one. 

Have you been on the alert, dear friend, for still fur- 
ther surprises ? for those mysterious facts always occur- 
ring more strange than fiction ? 

Have you been waiting, breathless, ever}- minute, to 
find him wedded to the Northern girl who pronounced 
all his people "nothing but a perfect set of blow- 
horns?" Did you suppose the invisible form of des- 
tiny which stretches herself before him would drift 
him thither? Or, have j^ou been treated to surprises 
enough for this occasion ? Has the revelation of the 
new owners of Mt. Airy satisfied the appetite for the 
time being, or must we still take 5^ou into one more 
secret, and tell you why he does not present to his 
friends to-night — Annie Eesher as his wife ? Will you 
be content with nothing short of the whole truth — that 
it is owing to no fault of his that she is not now 
addressed as Mrs. Clinton ? She had come to respect 
and honor him, and to have buried all malice toward 
the Southern people, but she had not as yet thought 
of marrying him or any other man. In fact, Annie 
Eesher was a woman with self-reliance enough of her 
own, and has been disciplined enough in the school of 
misfortune to be able to take care of herself without 



THE SECOND REUNION. 551 

leaning on the arm of any man for support ; and if j^ou 
will but possess yourselves for a few minutes, you shall 
know what has become of her. 

As for Clinton, you must be j'our own judge as to 
what effect his rejection had on him ; whether it was 
the feather on the beam or the finger of destiny that 
stood at the forked roads of the two great political par- 
ties in the daj's of reconstruction and negro suffrage, 
and caused him to be recorded to-night a Democrat 
instead of a Republican member of the House of Rep- 
resentatives. All that we will say at present is, he 
smiled drjdy, and answered Emma, saying, " No, it 
has not been ni}^ good fortune to present to you Mrs. 
Clinton, as yet." 

"Well, we will still keep on the watch-out for her," 
replied Emma. " I have no doubt — " 

" There ! the door-bell is ringing," interrupted Wal- 
ter. 

" I will wager a big apple," says Blanch, "that is 
Wendell and Ida, ahead of time." 

The servant opens the door. A voice below is heard 
to inquire : 

" Does Mr. Graham live here?" 

"Hark!" says Blanch, "Didn't I tell you?" and 
she ran down stairs to meet the new comers, exclaim- 
ing, "Yes, this is where Mr. Graham lives, and his 
wife too." Which was followed by mutual exclama- 
tions of : 

" Well, I do say." 

"Did you ever!" with a round of kisses, which 
could be heard up stairs ; followed once again by the 
expletive : 

"Listen !" from Emma, who says : 



552 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" It's Wendell and Ida and Aunt Mary ! " and she 
starts down stairs, followed by Walter, who says : 

" Please excuse me for a minute." 

The commotion is over in due time below ; they 
proceed up stairs to the parlor, headed by Walter, who 
says : 

" Mr. Clinton, allow me to present to 3'ou Hon. W. P. 
Bolton, member elect of Congress from Iowa. 

" I am very happy to meet Hon. Wendell Phillips 
Bolton of Iowa ; I believe we have had the pleasure of 
meeting before." 

" I have heard of his election to the next Congress." 

" Yes, sir, I have a very distinct recollection of the 
occasion on which I met Andrew Jackson Clinton years 
ago ; but I had not thought then of his being in Con- 
gress four years before me ; though I am not so much 
surprised that Walter preceded me two years, notwith- 
standing I had to go beyond the Mississippi to .'Secure 
ni}' commission." 

" So far as going beyond the Mississippi to secure 
your commission is concerned, Mr. Bolton, do you 
know I think you acted wisel3^ I have always regretted 
that I did not go to Texas immediately after the war ; 
in fact, I can not rightly give it up yet." 

Mrs. Bolton and Aunt Mary have of course been in- 
troduced by this time, and all are now talking away 
with break- neck speed ; and of course you understand 
the whole situation now. That Wendell Phillips Bol- 
ton graduated in law at Ann Arbor the year after 
Walter Graham ; that he went directly to Iowa, opened 
a law office in a thriving town in that State, and cast 
his fortunes there. 

That he returned to the land of his nativity a year 



THE SECOND REUNION. 553 

later on a visit, whereupon he tarried long enough to 
marry Miss Ida Reed, daughter of " Aunt Mary;" that 
he returned at once to his adopted State, taking with 
him his wife and wife's mother, where he devoted 
himself to his profession and, occasionally, to politics, 
until now, he returns on his first visit to Washington 
with his family after the war to witness the inaugura- 
tion of Garfield ; and with his certificate of election as 
one of the Congressmen from the State of Iowa ready 
to perform official duty any time after the fourth of 
March if necessary. 

Of course, you understood that in due time the con- 
versation naturally drifted back to the pleasant event 
of their other reunion, Clinton following up the chain 
of thought by asking, "What has become of your 
other sister, Graham, who was still single on that 
occasion ? ' ' 

" Oh, Sue, you mean ? " replied Walter. " Well, she 
went on to college after that; graduated in 1870; 
taught school for one year ; married Professor Lewis, 
one of the faculty, in 1872, as robust and healthy a 
looking man of twenty-eight as you would wish to see. 
She went to Portland, Oregon, with him in 1873, 
where he opened a school of his own ; died in 1878, 
leaving her a life insurance of $1,000, a young son of 
three and a-half years, and a good name. He said to 
her on his death-bed : ' Sue, I am not going to recover 
from the attack ; I know it. I leave you here on 
the Pacific slope, far awa}' from your kindred and 
friends, and with the grave responsibility of raising 
our darling boy. Go back to j'our parents if you 
think you must, or do whatever you think for the 
best ; but my opinion is, that if you can stay here and 
24 



554 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

raise him in Oregon to grow up with this new and 
growing country, his and j-our chances for success 
will both be greater than in the regions east of the 
Mississippi.' 

"Sue was too 'spunky,' as the boys expressed it, to 
come home, at any rate, to say nothing of the sacred 
respect in which she held the advice of her husband. 

' ' Thus the situation stood with her for two months 
after she buried her husband, when she received a 
letter from Miss Lesher, asking her if it would not be 
a good place for her and her mother to locate, as they 
had buried her father a year ago, and had made up 
their mind to leave Sharwood if something better 
offered. 

" Sue wrote to her, by all means to come out, painting 
in glowing colors the high wages that teachers received 
out there. 

"Six months later Miss Lesher and her mother, and 
Sue and her boy, were found living in one house, Mrs. 
Lesher taking care of the boy during the day, and Sue 
and Miss Lesher both teaching through the day at 
ninety dollars per month." 

"So that is the history of Sue and Miss Lesher, is 
it?" responded Clinton. "Has she never been on to 
see you since, or any of you to see her ? ' ' 

"She has not been home since father and mother 
were out to see her last summer, and they report her 
in the best of spirits and health ; say she owns two 
lots of her own in the city, which she earned herself, 
and which have increased wonderfully in value since 
she bougtht them. And Miss Lesher has bought a 
house of her own." "And next summer, if we live 
that long, Walter and I are going to see her," added 
Blanch. 



THE SECOND REUNION. 555 

"And you will bring her home with you to live?" 
said Ida. 

"You would not think so," replied Blanch, "from 
the tone of the letters she writes. I think it would 
take a gold mine to bring her from Oregon ; everything 
is perfect there, according to her representation — even 
to the climate." 

" No, next summer we go to see her ; and then the 
next summer she comes to visit us ; but not to stay," 
said Walter. 

" What became of your brother ? " inquired Clinton. 

"Joe ? Why, he took a notion after graduation at Cor- 
nell that he must yet have some adventuresome life, 
even if the war was over ; he is away now on the 
United States Coast Survey. The last trip he had was 
to Alaska to watch the transit of Venus. ' ' 

" Is he married ?" 

" No, but reports say he is engaged to a Boston lady 
of the literary aristocracy," replied Blanch. 

" Lord help him, if he is !" replied Clinton. 

" You had better not go up to Boston and tell them 
that," replied Blanch. 

" Why ? Do you think I would not get back alive ?" 

"Oh, yes, you would get back without bodily 
injury," said Bolton. 

"But, nevertheless, it might rouse them a little," 
said Mrs. Bolton. 

" That they could get over in time," said Walter. 

" Oh, no," said Clinton, smiling. " I have forgiven 
the New England people, as they profess to have for- 
given us ; sometimes I wonder, though, with all their 
smartness, how long it will take them to learn that 
there was, or is a United States, outside of New Eng- 
land." 



556 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I think I saw New England regiments in the army 
that had learned that," replied Walter, smiling. 
"They were even convinced that there was a South." 

' ' As we are having such a pleasant impromptu 
reunion of so many representative men, I think we 
should have some speech-making, as we had at the 
other one," said Will. Morton. 

"Oh, that is an excellent idea," exclaimed all the 
lady members of the company ; Emma clapping her 
hands and saying, " Mr. Clinton, you will have to lead 
oflF; 3'ou were first to begin before." 

" You will have to give him a toast, Ida." 

"Too late to commence the banquet now," cried 
Clinton. " I was just about to take my leave." 

"Oh, it is not midnight yet," said Blanch. "No 
backing out, Mr. Clinton," 

" Will., you will have to announce the toasts." 

"Yes, go ahead, Clinton. You ma)' take 'The 
Southern Problem.' " 

"Well, if I must, I must," said Clinton, rising. 

" ' The Southern Problem !' I am glad you have given 
me a subject with which I am so familiar; or, rather, 
a subject which is so simple. For be it understood, my 
friends, we of the South do not recognize the term. It 
is a misnomer for the sectional feeling which you peo- 
ple of the North are endeavoring to keep alive, that 
you may perpetuate your political power. There is no 
Southern problem. At our former reunion I told you 
as frankly as I knew how that the Union was pre- 
served, and that slavery was abolished ; I add now 
with equal emphasis : and the negro is enfranchised. 
We of the South are conscious of it and recognize it as 
a fact of which we do not need to be constantly remind- 



THE SECOND REUNION. 557 

ed by our brethern of the North. Whether that suf- 
frage will prove a blessing to the negro or a hindrance 
to his true progress and to the white civilization of the 
South I will not now discuss. It is necessary only to 
say, that the fact is upon us, and we know it. All 
that the people of the North need do is to let us alone 
and we will solve our own domestic questions. There is 
no Southern problem. You people of the North who 
refuse the negro admittance to your workshops and to 
your public improvements should not be concerned 
about managing the affairs of us who employ the negro 
to build our houses and our railroads. 

' ' There is no Southern Problem. Friends of the North , 
attend to your own domestic affairs. Preserve the 
purity of the ballot box in your own great cities and 
don't be torturing your consciences about ours ; and 
the fraternal feeling of peace and good will and kind- 
ness will grow between the two sections. Thank God, 
it is growing in spite of yowx efforts to destroy it. 

" Twenty years ago, sir, you, who proposed this toast, 
let me remind you, could have seen your wife, who 
now sits smiling, the ornament that she is to this cir- 
cle, leaving her home in the South in a spring- w^agoii 
drawn by a long-eared quadruped. Her mother, who 
now rests content in your luxurious home in the 
North, was leaving her home in the South a refugee. 
Her hero father, who now sleeps in an unmarked grave 
in Virginia, was leaving with them, an exile, banished 
from his home. To-day we welcome them back with 
open arms and warm hearts to the ownership of that 
home which was once mine and my father's. Can 
fraternal feeling go farther? 

"Seventeen years ago you, sir, Major Graham, were 



658 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

my captive, marching towards my home as my pris- 
oner. To day I long to see you there to visit your 
new possessions. Can fraternal feeling go farther f 

"Sir, there is no 'Southern Problem.' All we need 
is to be let alone. Wh)-, there is a kinship even in our 
domestic animals. 

"Do you remember that gray mare I rode in the 
Wilderness the day I took you prisoner, Graham ? 
She was a half sister to those two little bay mares your 
father owned. Uncle Joe Bernard shipped her down 
to my father only two years before the war ; their sire 
was a high-bred Kentucky horse, imported into your 
neighborhood to improve your stock." 

" Hold !" cried Will. Morton, " the subject was not 
gray mares in the Wilderness." 

" Let him proceed," said Walter ; " I am just begin- 
ning to get interested ; I always did love those two bay 
mares of father's ; it is a great pity that any of their 
kindred were ever desecrated in the rebel cause. ' ' 

" The gray mare you rode in the Wilderness the day 
you took Walter prisoner?" exclaimed Blanch. "Oh! 
she must have been a remarkable animal ; what did 
you call her? Hagar in the Wilderness?" 

"No, I called her Lucy. Oh, she was a darling," 
replied Clinton. 

"Oh, that makes it all the worse," said Walter; 
" that was what we called one of our bays — 'Lucy.' 
But I thought your gra}^ had a familiar look the day I 
saw her ; perhaps it was her kindly admonition that 
caused j-ou to let me go ?" 

"Oh, no; it was ni}' friend, the corporal, who was 
so stupid as to let you escape. He was angry at you 
for a good while ; but he has a very kindly feeling 



THE SECOND REUNION. 559 

toward you now. He has succeeded well in business 
since the war," replied Clinton. 

" I hope he has," replied Walter. " I hope the fifty 
dollars he got from me gave him a good start at the 
close of hostilities." 

" Did you loan him fifty dollars ?" asked Clinton. 

"Yes, I loaned him fifty dollars that day; rather 
under compulsion though, I might saj' ; or, in fact, he 
might call it an exchange. He gave me a two-dollar 
Confederate bill in lieu of my fifty-dollar greenback," 
said Walter. 

"What! Explain yourself!" cried Clinton. 

" No, I will not explain any farther, Clinton," 
replied Walter, advancing toward him and giving him 
his hand. " Your honest surprise answers to ni}- mind 
a question, about which I have often wondered, so we 
will say nothing more about it." 

Clinton gave his hand a hearty shake and, with a 
grim smile, said : 

"I think I understand all now. Let us proceed 
with the toasts. ' ' 

" Yes, yes," said Will. Morton ; "I believe Wendell 
Phillips Bolton comes next in order ; he may respond 
to the toast, ' The Labor Problem.' " 

Bolton arose and said : 

" I wish I could speak the words, 'there is no labor 
problem,' with the same confidence as mj^ friend who 
preceded me has declared there is no Southern prob- 
lem. In fact, I love to cling to the belief that there is 
no labor problem ; but I always hesitate more or less 
when T utter the words. 

"I cannot forget that less than four j'ears ago I 
could not have come from Iowa to Washington on any 
one of our great trunk railways. 



560 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

" I cannot forget that blood was flowing in many of 
the great cities of our country. 

' ' I still remember that the great Baltimore and Ohio 
stood paralyzed. 

"I still remember that millions of dollars were 
ascending in flames in the great manufacturing city of 
Pittsburgh ; that the rioters were victors in the battle 
of the Round House ; that the sheriff and his posse 
were lying dead on the ground. 

' ' I still remember that not a wheel was turning on 
the great Pennsylvania Central, except an occasional 
mail car. The grass could have grown on the streets 
of Philadelphia, so far as concerned any commerce it 
was contributing to her. 

"Nay, I remember moie ; that the State troops called 
upon to preserve the peace in many of the States could 
not be relied upon, for the reason that they boldly and 
defiantly proclaimed their sympathy with the strikers. 

' ' I remember that the strong arm and iron discipline 
of the United States army was called upon to suppress 
these disturbances. When I see millionaire railroad 
presidents drive defiantly by their starving employes 
with $20,000 outfits, refusing to give an ear to their 
complaints, I am not sure there is no labor problem. 
When I see organized capital openly declare that it 
proposes to bring all the trunk lines west of the Mis- 
sissippi into one grand pool, thereby stopping all com- 
petition, and then fix rates as it pleases, I am not 
sure there is no labor problem. 

" When I see children born daily in the city of New 
York who are destined never to enjoy the luxury of 
light and air, doomed to live miserable lives of suffer- 
ing, incapable of either mental or physical develop- 



THE SECOND REUNION. 561 

raent, and certain to fill premature graves, can I be 
sure there is no labor problem f 

" My friends, I am not an alarmist; I am not a the- 
orist ; I am not a communist ; I am a Republican, clean 
bred ; I have been elected Congressman in spite of the 
" Greenbackers " and fiat-money people of the West. 

" But I am only asking these questions as worthy of 
our serious reflection. 

" What is this condition of things ? Is it what Ches- 
terfield said he saw in France — 'All the symptoms of 
revolution that he had ever met with in history ?' or 
is it nothing but the slight friction incident to common 
life ? I trust and believe it is the latter ; that it is 
nothing but what we can adjust and solve peaceably, 
equitably, and without bloodshed, in this great repub- 
lic where boys come from the tow-path to the White 
House. But they are questions, my friends, which we 
must meet with a mind open for the truth. True, my 
friends, we are a little poor in the West just now ; our 
people are paying a little too much interest for their 
mone3^ Do any of you know, let me ask while on my 
feet, of any capitalist who has ten thousand dollars he 
will let come to Iowa at six per cent, on perfectly good 
real estate security ? ' ' 

"Now you have come down to practical talk," said 
Will. Morton. 

"And have demonstrated that you are a Yankee, as 
well as a Republican," said Clinton. 

" Yes, you remind us of the man who advertised his 
goods at a friend's funeral," said Blanch. 

' ' I see you are becoming too sarcastic for me, ' ' replied 
Wendell ; " let us proceed with the next speaker." 

"Yes, hurry up with it," said Clinton, "for it is 
growing late. ' ' 



562 WAIvTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"All right," said Will.; "Walter Graham will re- 
spond to ' The Race Problem.' " 

Walter arose, saying : " My friends, I am sure there 
is a race problem, testing to the severest extent of all 
questions, our statesmanship. Not so much our states- 
manship as our prejudices. The race problem can be 
made perfectly simple in a single word — Jiistice. Apply 
that remedy impartially and alike to both races and 
then I can agree that there is no Southern problem. 
Justice, an element in which the land may wade with 
perfect safety ; justice, seasoned with mercy ; can the 
white race of the South say that this has not been done 
to them ? 

"Are there no considerations of mercy for the black 
man ? Do you forget that he has been for two cen- 
turies a slave, during which time he poured wealth and 
luxury into your laps and the means to educate and 
culture your children, while you closed to his mind 
every avenue of useful knowledge and robbed him of 
his labor ? 

"Yet, in the face of this condition, I hear the 
'superior' race of the South talk about 'negro 
supremacy .' This astounds me. The negro race must 
have advanced wonderfully in the scale of thrift and 
civilization if already he is beginning to threaten the 
high bred Caucasian race of the South with subjection. 

" Friends of the South, your situation is trying, and 
we speak not what we speak in malice, but in kind- 
ness, for your benefit as well as for the black's. We 
claim not that we would have done better under the 
circumstances than you have ; we admit there are 
beams in our own eyes ; we grant that we, in the first 
place, may have been as responsible for bringing the 



The second reunion. 563 

negro here as you ; we only remind j^ou now that he 
himself cannot be held accountable for his presence 
here. 

' ' I only repeat he was brought here over two hundred 
years ago in chains and slaverj', and here he will stay 
until his race or ours is entirely extinct ; or till his 
race and ours have merged into one ; or until his race 
and ours have mutuallj' agreed to accord to each other, 
to the fullest extent, their civil and political rights. 
Which of these three alternatives do we all prefer? 
Infinitely the latter. For be assured, my friends, that 
one of these three things will happen. It may be 
sooner, it may be later, but be assured it will come, 
else all history is a dead letter, all nature is false. 

"Then, friends of the South, begin by simply doing 
the negro justice. What he needs is to be let alone. 
If he is on the road to market with his cotton crop, let 
him alone ; if he is on the road to the election, let him 
alone; if he' is lying in jail, aw^aiting to be tried for 
crime, let him alone. Don't take him away and shoot 
him in either of these cases, not even the latter ; wait 
until judge and jury have pronounced him guilty. 
You need, generally speaking, have no fear that he 
will escape, if guilty, at the hands of his white tryers. 

" But if, perchance, there should be a judge who is 
disposed to see that he gets justice, don't take the 
judge out and murder him, and his son and daughter, 
in the presence of his wife." 

"You allude, no doubt, to the Judge Chisholra 
affair," said Clinton. "Permit me to say that the 
conservative people of the South deprecated that act, 
and it is hardly fair that they should be held responsi- 
ble for the lawlessness of one particular county." 



564 WALTER GRAHAM. STATESMAN. 

"Judge Chisholm's widow," continued Walter, "is 
no doubt ver}^ grateful to the conservative people of the 
South for their deprecation of the act ; all she knows, 
as a matter of fact, however, is that the Governor of 
the State concluded, after mature reflection, that it 
would be better not to stir the matter up ; and perhaps it 
would be better now for me not to stir it up ; and per- 
haps I have already exceeded m\^ time." 

" Yes, and as we had four toasts the other time, we 
should have the fourth one now," said Clinton. 
" Morton, you will have to take Tom Swave's place." 

"lam not a speech-maker," replied Will. "Be- 
sides, I have to announce the toasts." 

" And besides, we ma}^ as well let Tom speak for 
himself," said Walter. "Shall I read you his last 
letter ; it is not very long ?" 

"Certainly," said all the company, "we would be 
delighted." 

"Well, then, here it is," said Walter, drawing it 
from his pocket. 

" WEI.LINGTON, New Zealand, December, 25, 1S80. 
My Dear Friend : 

I am seated this evening on the south balcony of my board- 
ing house, enjoying the cool south breeze, and have conceived 
the idea of dropping you a few lines to let you know what 
Christmas is like in a converse climate. 

The south wind is cool and pleasant, as I have already stated, 
at this hour — 8 P. M. — though I thought I shovild have melted 
under the parching, dry wind which came down from the north 
to-day at 2 p. m., as I drove with a friend in the country. 

To-day, however, I was told, was unusually warm, and farm- 
ers who were working in their fields told us that it was the 
warmest Christmas they had known for years. The harvest is 
rather earlier than usual, they said, and most of them had 
already commenced to cut their grass. 



THE SECOND REUNION. 565 

One old man, who was working his corn, informed ^is he 
never hked to commence making hay until after Christmas, as 
he generally liked to give some observance to the day, and this 
was almost impossible to do after harvest had fully begun. They 
generally, I found, try to gather at their churches for a 
short service, either early in the morning or in the evening 
after sundown, no matter how busy they are with their work. 
But, as a rule, Christmas goes largely with the agricultural 
portion of the people here a little as the Fourth of July had to 
go with the farmers around old Shocktown when you and I 
were boys ; the people in cities and towns, of course, generally 
observe the day. 

The native New Zealander, of whom I have seen but two 
since I came here, makes the American Indian appear quite an 
intelligent gentleman. Whether the white man will solve the 
problem of what to do with him any better than he has with us, 
I cannot predict. 

Do you know, however, Walter, that there are now on this 
island almost one-third as many people as there were in the orig- 
inal thirteen colonies when our fathers undertook to throw off the 
j'oke of old England ? I cannot say, though, that I discover any 
tendency on the part of these people to imitate our example ; 
they all seem perfectly content under the management of their 
own domestic affairs, and what slight supervision the mother 
country takes over them. Perhaps it is the mother country that 
has profited some by experience. 

I received my last batch of Sharwood papers last week, and 
your letter a month behind time. I was sorry to hear of the 
death of Mr. Morton, following so shortly after that of Mr. 
Williamson. What unique figures they both were in their 
respective ways and communities. 

You and I can scarcely remember the day when we did not 
hear the phrase, " Old John Williamson." 

I will start this next week, in the next mail via San Francisco, 
and it should reach you, ordinarily, in from five to seven weeks. 
No doubt you will have it before the inauguration of Garfield, 
at which event I will be with you in spirit. 

Remember me very kindly to all the family and all my friends, 



566 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

including our friend Bolton, who I see is to speak for the State 
of Iowa in the next Congress. I suppose 3'ou see Clinton some- 
times since you have been in Washington. Ask him if he 
remembers the wedding at Shocktown, and extend to him my 
kindest regards, if he remembers me, which I hardly suppose he 
does. Yours, very truly, 

Tom." 

" Yes, tell him I remember him ; and return my best 
wishes when yon write," said Clinton. 

"And that is a description of Christmas in a con- 
verse climate," said Bolton. 

" Don't it seem strange? " said Ida. 

" Isn't it interesting? " said Emma. 

" Yes, written by poor Tom Swave ; the smartest man 
of all of you," said Will. 

" We'll concede that," said Walter, thoughtfully. 

" What a pleasant night we have had," said Clinton; 
" btit it is midnight now; good-night," and he started 
for his bachelor quarters. 

The rest of the company chatted another twenty min- 
utes. Cousin Ida having fancied, before she retired, that 
the traces of excess had deepened just a little in Cousin 
Will.'s face, "though he certainly is a good, kind 
husband to Cousin Emma, and seems just like the same 
kind, generous Will." 

And thus the members of the second reunion retired, 
wherein had participated Emma Morton, who was the 
cousin of Ida Bolton, who was the cousin of Blanch 
Graham, who was the cousin of Maggie Barnard, 
whose name had been incidentall)' mentioned that eve- 
ning, but for whose history you must wait just a little 
longer. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE SF.COND CERTIFIED CHECK. 

"The mild despairing of a heart resigned," 

— Coleridge. 

TT is the last day of April, 1886 ; Garfield has been 
^ inaugurated, and assassinated besides. Vice- 
President Arthur has served out his term. Cleveland 
has been President for more than a year. General 
Grant lies buried in Riverside Park, and Walter Gra- 
ham is still Congressman. 

Thus the three great Presidents who have filled the 
Presidential chair during the generation of the vi^ar 
and its consequences are sleeping the tranquil sleep of 
death. 

Ah! what a trio they present — Lincoln, Grant, Gar- 
field ! The world knows their history by heart ; where- 
ever the Caucasian race is found, there little children 
lisp their names. 

The first and the last of this trio died by the hand 
of an assassin while exercising the functions of his 
great office ; the second, of cancer, in a mountain 
retreat, while writing his own memoirs, that his family 
might have comfortable means of living when he was 
gone. 

Garfield, the most scholarly of the three, second in 
that respect, perhaps, to none of his predecessors in the 
Presidential chair ; a citizen soldier, the product of the 
war, but equipped for high position by a long training 
as a national legislator, which gave additional force to 



568 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

his natural statesmanship and powers of comprehen- 
sion. 

Grant, the trained soldier, but entirely the accident 
of the war — which brought him from the obscurity of 
thetanyard, to which he had retired at its breaking 
out — rising to the. supreme command by his supreme 
fitness for the position. Calm in storm, modest in 
victory, undisturbed in defeat, a thing which he never 
seemed to understand when he had experienced it ; for, 
checkmated though he might be, he still kept his face 
toward his enemy. He passed through two terms of 
the presidenc}', making as few mistakes as could be 
expected from a man entirely unprepared for civil duties, 
and all of which a grateful people were quick to for- 
give in the man who took Gen. Lee's sword from him 
and then returned it. 

Lincoln, the first and greatest of the three ; poorest 
in scholarship, richest in wisdom. The most unlet- 
tered man who ever occupied the presidential chair ; 
the strongest in natural logic and clearness of percep- 
tion ; endowed with a common sense which more than 
compensated for conservativeness and over-caution. So 
mild, yet so firm. The man who " never erred, except 
on the side of mercy. ' ' The man whom destiny had 
chosen to ride the fiercest storm of civil conflict the 
world had ever seen ; and to preserve from immolation 
Democracy's fair form when ambition would have 
invited the despot's hand. The man who led without 
dictating ; who followed without being servile. The 
man whose every pulse-beat, whose every groan, was 
for his bleeding country. The man whose "malice 
was for none," whose " charity was for all." The man 
whose great attribute was mercy. The man whose brain 



THE SECOND CERTIFIED CHECK. 569 

was pierced with an assassin's bullet, and who, when he 
died left, like William the Silent, little children crying 
on the streets. The man who was followed to his tomb 
by the benedictions of his own race and the broken 
shackles of four millions of slaves to attest the undy- 
ing gratitude of another. The man who, taken all in 
all, makes up the most bcautif^il figure of human his- 
tory. 

What thoughts ! what memories ! what speculations ! 
clustered around these three characters as Walter Gra- 
ham sat in his parlor that evening contemplating them. 
All so different, and yet so alike ; each representing so 
peculiarly the possibilities of the American boy ; and 
yet not one of them the product of the older societies 
east of the Alleghenies. Nay, these were the children 
of the Wild West ; the children of nature, proceeding 
respectively from the log cabin, the tanyard and the 
towpath, to imperishable renown. The children of 
Genius who are born without ancestry, die without 
issue. 

It was in this reverie that Walter Graham was found 
that evening when his door opened to admit Tom 
Swave, just returned from New Zealand. Tom's face 
was a little downcast, his prospects not over-bright, 
his plans for the future not well defined. The meagre 
salary attached to his foreign mission had not admitted 
of much accumulation. The small estate which his 
father had left he had divided equally with a little 
cousin— a niece of his mother's — the only relative he 
had now on earth, and who had gone to his father after 
his mother's death, and kept his home in order for him 
until his death. The half retained for himself had 
vanished in a bad investment in New Zealand. 



570 WALTER GRAHAM, STATEvSMAN. 

Taken all together, he was hardly in that exuberant 
spirit which might be expected of one after his return 
from wandering on a foreign strand. Was it because 
the word home, had lost for him its sweetness through 
long absence of its experience ? or was it because he 
yearned for one so badly that not even return to his 
native land without it could fill the void in his heart ? 

He warmed up a little, however, as Walter related to 
him different local events since his absence, and the 
tragic taking off of Garfield ; the pathos and sublimity 
of the scene in the House of Representatives in its 
dying moments the previous session, when Mr. Ran- 
dall of Pennsylvania, the leader of the Democracy, 
rose, worn and haggard, after an all-night session and 
demanded that the rules be suspended ; that the bill 
authorizing the president to place the name of Gen. 
Grant on the retired list, with the rank of Genera/, be 
pa.ssed — the highest title known to our law and the 
one which Gen. Grant had surrendered to become 
president. 

Walter told him how he had been impressed with 
the stillness and solemnity of the event more than by 
anything else that had happened since he had been in 
Congress. How his heart leaped with joy as he saw 
Mr. Randall's figure rise to make a motion ; how the 
lips of its previous opponents seemed sealed ; how the 
consciousness of the fact, that if this last and proper 
tribute of respect was ever to be paid by a grateful 
country to the greatest soldier of the age, it must be 
done quickly if done at all, seemed to silence through 
respect, if not shame, the opponents of the measure ; 
how its friends gave a sigh of relief and " Thank God, 
it is done," as the Speaker announced the result, and 



THE SECOND CERTIFIED CHECK. 571 

the messenger flew across the capitol to the president's 
room, who was waiting to affix his official signature. 

Tom's countenance lighted up at times as he lis- 
tened to these experiences, and glowed with something 
of its old-time fervor and patriotism. But he inquired, 
incidentally, of course, how Sue and Miss L,esher were 
coming on in Oregon ; and Blanch noticed, when he 
was told of their happy condition, and shown the last 
photograph which Sue had sent them of herself and 
her eleven-year-old boy, that he handed them back 
with a lingering look. 

Three weeks later, as Walter sal in his parlor, he 
said to Blanch, "It is strange where Tom Swave has 
gone so soon ; here is the first letter I wrote him 
returned ; the second one he has never answered, and 
here is a letter from Dave now, saying he does not 
think he was about Shocktown more than a day." 

" I know where he went," said Blanch, smiling. 

" Where ? " said Walter, curiously. 

" I think, if you address a letter to Portland, Oregon, 
he will get it," replied Blanch. 

" Do you know that ? " asked Walter. 

"No, I only think it," replied Blanch, smiling at 
him as if to saj^ 'What stupid things men are.' "You 
try that once for an experiment ; direct your letter 
there." 

"That is rather indefinite," replied Walter, "for 
one who is merel}' a transient traveler ; the street and 
number should be on it, or in some one's care." 

"Direct in care of Sue lyCwis and see if he don't 
receive it. ' ' 

"Or Annie I^esher," replied Walter, his mind now 
opening to the thought. 



572 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN, 

" I would sooner risk the other," responded Blanch, 
still looking at him with a thoughtful glance. 

Walter pursued the subject no farther. It is not 
certain to what extent he had taken in the thought 
that was in his wife's mind. At all events, he com- 
menced plajnng with the baby and examining the pile 
of tariff statistics that lay before him ; but, three hours 
later, when he retired to bed, his mind did return to 
Tom Swave — to Blanch's premonitions as to where he 
had gone and in connection therewith, he thought of 
his sister Sue, and Miss Lesher — perhaps more dis- 
tinctly of the former than the latter. 

Who can tell what mysteries are hidden in the law 
of coincidence ? What secret magnetic current was then 
sweeping over 3,000 miles across the continent that may 
have turned Walter Graham's thoughts once again to 
Tom Swave ? Was it because at that moment Tom 
Swave was standing on the front steps of a neat little 
two-story dwelling in Portland, ringing the door- bell ? 
Was it because that ring was answered by a little 
round-headed, dark-eyed boy of eleven, not so very 
unlike Walter Graham in the days gone by? Was it 
that fact which touched some invisible, some mysterious, 
brain-wave, which reached Walter at that instant ? For 
certain it was that Tom Swave was thus standing at 
that moment on Sue L,ewis' door-step in Portland, Ore- 
gon ; that little Walter Lewis was running back to the 
dining-room, saying, " Mother, there is a gentleman at 
the door wants to know if Mrs. Lewis is in." 

Certain it was Tom Swave had dismissed his cab- 
man with instructions to call at 10 o'clock. 

It was equally certain that Sue Lewis came walking 
through the hall, turned up the light, and said "Good 



THE SECOND CEKTIFIED CHECK. 573 

evening," paused for a moment, and then exclaimed, 
" Why, Tom Swave ! is this you ? " 

Tom was not long in explaining that it was he ; nor 
was he long in experiencing a quickened circulation in 
his blood, a warmer feeling in his heart. 

That Sue would welcome and greet him as an old 
friend of her childhood, which circumstance alone 
would do him good he well knew; but somehow he 
in five minutes felt the gloom on his mind was clearing. 
The pain in his leg, which had been threatening him 
with a third outbreak, had left. 

As he sat in the cozy little parlor to which he had 
been invited, and looked into those rich, black eyes 
and that animated countenance, as he had so frequently 
done when a boy, and which, it must be confessed, 
had returned to him at times the tender glances of the 
romping young girl and the blooming young lady, 
and he was not always insensible of their power ; 
but, to-night, as he saw them shining forth from the 
matronly woman of thirty-nine, he w^as sure he saw 
for the first time their true beauty. 

As he glanced around over the room he espied the 
same little melodeon on which Sue used to play her 
simple airs at the old Shock town home. 

lyittle Walter soon became quite friendly, and told 
him some of his experiences in school, and what 
books he was studying. 

Sue played, in the course of the evening, on her 
little melodeon, " Home, Sweet Home." 

But, enough of this ; imagination must have her 
sway for the next two hgurs. It is already ten o'clock; 
yes, ten minutes after; the cabman has been waiting 
outside for the last five minutes. Little Walter has 



574 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

been sleeping on the lounge for the last hour. Tom is 
holding Sue's hand tenderly in his as she utters the 
words : " Tom, I must be left to myself for awhile. I 
know your heart is in the right place, and I believe 
ever}^ word that you say; but, you understand, I must 
be left to myself for awhile. I will say only now that 
I do pity you." 

" I do understand, thoroughly," said Tom kindly, 
' ' and you shall be left to j'ourself. ' ' And he passed out 
of the door, stepped into the cab, and was driven 
directly to his hotel, where he sat in the side room in 
silence for a half hour, watching the people around 
him and meditating. 

The happy moments he had just spent with the old 
friend of his youth, he began to have a vague premon- 
ition, was only a transient meteor, passing over his 
sick mind ; he felt a consciousness that he had been too 
rash ; a fear that after all his trip across the continent 
would prove no balm to bis sorrowing spirit. 

He realized before long that his knee was paining 
him severely; he remembered the severe attack he had 
with it when on the Pacific Coast before, and a scarcely 
less one far avvaj^ in New Zealand. A third attack, he 
had always believed, would take his life, unless he 
acted promptly on the prescription — amputation. 
All the syraptons of a recurrence of his trouble were 
now upon him. Not even the electrifying of Sue Lewis 
could abolish that pain. This was proof positive of its 
existence. His purse was almost as lean as on the 
other occasion when he was obliged to appeal to Wal- 
ter Graham for assistance. He thought of reporting 
a little for some eastern papers, at which he might earn 
something at present ; but, of course, that as well as 



THE SECOND CERTIFIED CHECK 575 

other plans would be frustrated if he was to be pros- 
trated once again, a charity patient in a hospital. 
Despair was beginning to fill his mind. Kven if life 
itself was to be saved, he felt it might be neces- 
sary to act promptly, not later, perhaps, than in 
the morning. " Is life worth saving ? " he thought, as 
he arose and walked out to the bar room. 

His mind was now a phonograph, on which the word 
despair had made deep her indentures ; his heart a soil 
in which the plow of misery had struck deep her fur- 
row. He picked up a glass from the bar and poured 
about three tablespoonfuls of water into it ; drew an 
ounce bottle of laudanum from his pocket, dropped ten 
drops in it and drank it down. He returned to a 
chair, sat for ten minutes, then told the bartender he 
wished to retire. His pain had subsided somewhat, 
and he felt he might possibly get to sleep. Before he 
was fairly undressed, however, and in bed, the pain 
had returned, too intense to admit of sleep. He knew 
the physician had allowed him to take five drops of 
laudanum in one teaspoonful of water on previous oc- 
casions when he was highly nervous and unable to get 
to sleep ; but now he had enlarged the dose and no 
results, and his pain too severe too admit of much 
delay or theorizing. He lay down on the bed, raised 
himself up after a few minutes, reached over to the 
stand, poured ten more drops of laudanum in a tea- 
spoon and swallowed them, lay back again upon the 
bed and fell into a short nap, but woke up in half an 
hour, with the pain — a strong mixture of pain and 
pleasure. Yes, he had a little rest, and a hopeful 
dream. He seemed, a moment, happy again ; still, 
he felt drowsy — a pleasant sensation of half-uncon- 



576 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

scioiisness between the jerks of pain. Just ten more 
drops of laudanum, he thought; the teaspoon had 
dropped from his hand ; the bottle was still clasped 
in his other ; he raised it dreamingly to his lips ; he 
thought he could guage ten drops on his tongue, 
and then lie down to pleasant dreams. Yes, the 
bottle is at his lips, he lets his head drop back to 
take it in — to take in ten drops. Yes, ten drops ran 
into his mouth. The contents of the bottle are in his 
mouth. He realizes for a moment that something 
might be wrong. He remembers having an indi.s- 
tinct thought that maybe he had better .spit it out ; the 
thought .seems to be fleeing. No, he feels already such 
a pleasing sensation. Yes, it is only the water that is 
in my throat. I am going to have such a good night's 
sleep, at last ; such lovely dreams. His throat opens ; 
the contents of the bottle are in his stomach. 

Yes, Tom, what a sweet night's sleep 3'ou are going 
to have ; your limb has cea.sed paining, 5'our heart has 
ceased aching ; sleep on, poor Tom, for eternity of sleep 
is yours ; take with you sweet dreams of Sue ; as you 
sleep on from mortality to immortality. 

'Tis eight o'clock a. m. " The gentleman in room 47 
has not come down yet." 'Tis nine o'clock, "The 
gentleman in room 47 has not come down yet." 

" Go rouse him," says the landlord; " see what is the 
matter." 

Yes, come back, little Chinese waiter, report the door 
is locked ; no answer made to 3'our knocking and call- 
ings ? Yes, go up. look over the transom, landlord, see 
for yourself ; force open the door. 

Ah ! now raise the alarm. Consternation ! Excite- 
ment ! have your way ; run your little course. Curi- 



THE SECOND CERTIFIED CHECK. 577 

osity and suspicion, feed yourself full on your theories 
of " foul play," of "suicide," of " something wrong." 

First of all, search his body and his clothes for 
marks of identification. Yes, here are evidences that 
his name is Thomas Svvave, the same name under which 
he has registered. Yes, here is a G. A. R. button on 
his vest. See if that is a fraud. Get down that 
National Registry, bar tender, as you are an old soldier, 
and see if you can find his record. " Yes, here is the 
name, and a very good record he has ; this must be the 
man." 

Hunt up the cabman who took him away to some 
place last night. Yes, spread the news everj-where, 
let it reach Sue Lewis. She explains all. 

Coroner, hold your inquest ! 

lycarned physicians, spin your fine-spun theories that 
it is a suicide — clear, and unmistakable — laugh at one 
of your profession who, after hearing his histor}- , says 
it may possibh' not have been a deliberate suicide 

The 07ie thing that you and I know now for certain 
is that Tom Swave is dead. 

Sue L,ewis was no ordinar}^ woman ; that fact 5'ou 
may have perceived or j^ou may not. What answer 
she was preparing to give to Tom Swave you and I 
may never know. Let it have been what it may, it is 
easy to conceive that such news as this bursting on her 
in this way was a considerable shock. But she is equal 
to the emergency. At twelve o'clock she is sufficiently 
calm to say^' ' Yes, there are friends who will claim 
the body. I will give full directions in a short time 
what is to be done with it." 

Walter Graham retired the evening before, as has 
been stated, not knowing exactly why he had thought 
25 



578 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

of Tom Swave. All he knows now is, that at this 3:00 
p M. he is sitting at his desk in the Hall of the House 
of Representatives at Washington while the town clock 
in Portland, Oregon, is striking twelve. That the mes- 
senger boy has just handed him a despatch ; he opens 
and reads : 

" P0RT1.AND, Oregon, May 21, 1886. 
Dear Walter : 

Tom Swave died here this morning. Think he is without 
means. Please tell me what to have done with the body. 

Sue." 

How many times he read it over to be sure he read it 
rightly must be left to conjecture. Suffice it to say, 
that in due time he penned the following message in 

reply : 

"Washington, D. C, May 21, 1886. 
Sister Sue : 

Have the body embalmed and expressed to Shocktown. I 
will send certified check for all expenses. 

Walter." 

Yes, lay him away in the little gravej^ard at Shock- 
town where he completes the family circle. 

Lower him gently; cover him up tenderly; be all his 
faults forgiven, for he had kindness of heart. 

Write for his epitaph — "One for whom nature had 
done her share. One who never did quite enough for 
himself. One who never quite obeyed his conscience. 
One who never entirely disregarded it." 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

THE LAST REUNION. 

TT IS the evening of the 30th of May, 1887, and 
-*- " Memorial Day " services are over at Shocktown. 
The little Shocktown G. A. R. Post, which consisted of 
about thirty comrades, gathered in from a radius of 
five miles, marched into the little grave3^ard, about 
half-past four o'clock, p. m., with measured step to the 
low tap of drum, while old men and women, merry 
young school children, and strong young men who had 
polled their maiden votes (though born since lyce's 
surrender) stood looking reverently on. 

They laid flowers upon the seven graves marked 
with miniature flags wathin that space, which included 
Mr. Wagner's, little Chaplain Hirsh's, Frank and 
Tom Swave's. 

This being done, the Post formed in hollow square, 
around the two last named graves, lying side by side, 
where the services proper were held. 

The comrades uncovered, the Divine blessing was 
invoked by the Post Chaplain, after which Com- 
mander Flora announced they would now have the 
pleasure of listening to an address by Comrade Walter 
Graham, of the Sharwood Post. 

Walter stepped upon an old chair that had been pro- 
vided for the occasion and cast his eye over the little 
group of comrades that stood around him before he 
trusted himself to utter a word ; and some say drew 



580 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

his handkerchief from his pocket and made pretense to 
wipe the perspiration from his face. I shall not under- 
take to give you his words or describe his emotions, as 
the attempt would be failure in either case. 

You must be content, simply with what you saw. 
He beheld of those of whom you have heretofore heard 
that had enlisted at different times around about 
Shocktown, only five — Commander Flora, already 
mentioned, was of course one who still seemed quite 
a well preserved man of sixty-five, with his one natural 
and one artificial eye. Little, old Dr. Cain's form was 
rather more stooped and his step less active than on 
the morning when he pronounced Walter Graham ' ' as 
fine a baby as ever sniffed the morning air," but he 
had kept pace all day with his comrades, and stood, 
attentive, to listen to the words of his baby, now grown 
to the statesman of forty-four. 

Jake Boyle, Jack Matson and Dave Miller, all hale 
men, still in the prime of life, completed the five; the 
remainder having joined the ranks of the Grand Array 
above, or been scattered in distant parts. 

As he cast his eyes downwards, he saw the mounds 
which marked the spots where the entire Swave family 
lay, assimilating with their native dust ; and the grass 
not yet grown green over that of Tom, only a year 
and a day old. He raised his eyes upwards and let 
them rest be^'ond the little group of comrades, where 
he saw standing among the audience, reclining against 
the fence, his mother and Prof. Baker, in company 
with Blanch, his sister Mary, and her children. He 
saw Mart. Barnard standing in a group a little to his 
right, the thrifty looking merchant that he was. His 
gaze rested for a moment up the litrie valley of the 



THE LAST REUNION. 581 

Silver, and across the hill side where he saw the old 
stone school house, now turned into a dwelling ; and 
the old oak, and chestnut, and willow trees, standing 
farther up the meadow, by the side of the old dam. 

Why should I be expected to describe either Walter 
Graham's words or emotions, under these circum- 
stances ? Through his mind at that moment a thousand 
memories thronged. He felt both glad and sorry 
that he was there to speak his memorial day words, 
rather than at some of the larger places, whose 
invitations he had declined ; he did speak for about 
twent}' minutes he hardly knew how, and then stopped 
amid a silence that was sublime. 

The little Post marched back to the village, while he 
lingered for a few minutes to speak to Professor Baker 
and other old friends. He wended his way back to 
Dave Miller's house, where he and Blanch and his 
mother had taken dinner, having all driven over from 
his summer residence at Mansdale. 

He could not delay for supper as he wished to be 
back to Mansdale in time for the evening services in 
the hall, where W. P. Bolton was to be the orator of 
the occasion. Mrs. Bolton and her mother had come 
on from Iowa, on a visit for a few weeks, and Wendell 
was meeting them there now, where he could be util- 
ized as Memorial Day orator, at the same time. 

Professor Baker, who was now living a retired and 
lonely widower's life, had accepted Walter's invitation 
to ride back with him and Blanch to Mansdale and be 
their guest that night, mother having concluded since 
she was at Shocktown to stay a few weeks with Mary. 

They had driven over from Walter" s summer home at 
Mansdale, did I say ? Yes, or more accurately speak- 



582 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

ing, Blanch's ; for it was none other than the old Mor- 
ton home, where Walter had first met her ; the home 
where she was born and reared, and from which he had 
taken her as his bride. 

Mr. Morton had died some two years ago, as 3'ou 
have alread}' learned. His estate, though not running 
into the millions, or not being what the millionaires of 
our large cities might call great, was still larger than 
his neighbors had supposed. It need only be said, that 
after leaving some special bequests to some charitable 
institutions and a few deserving friends, the residue 
of his estate was left equall)' to Will, and Blanch ; that 
Will, and Blanch divided, amicably, the real estate 
between themselves, drawing lots as to which should 
take the old homestead, and that Blanch was the 
lucky drawer. 

And this is how it came to pass that Walter and 
Blanch were driving back to their summer residence at 
Mansdale that evening, taking Professor Baker with 
them. 

Of course, j-ou understand that Will, had built a 
more modern and pretentious residence at the far end 
of the field, to which point the borough had well nigh 
grown, where he and Emma and her mother lived ; 
and that Wendell and Ida and her mother were their 
guests on this occasion. 

Walter, Blanch and the Professor arrived at the old 
home about six o'clock, when — the tea being over — 
they sat down on the same old porch for a pleasant 
hour before they started to the hall. 

The nine children soon gathered around at either 
end of the porch, under the old trees in the yard, or 
through the hall. 



THE LAST REUNION. 583 

What ! nine children, do you ask ? Why, the last 
time we heard of them there were only four. 

Yes, nine I am obliged to answer for. You will 
remember that when first you heard of them it was in 
1877, and this is 1887, and the young Grahams have 
been making their debut into the family at inter- 
vals of every two years ever since. Yes, this is an old- 
fashioned patriarchal family, reared by a mother who 
has not considered it much trouble to raise her own 
children, and has devoted herself to them. 

True, she has had the health, the time, and the means 
to do it ; and more should be expected of her than the 
poor mother who has none of these advantages ; but to 
whose lot it generally falls to have the larger yield of 
offspring. 

Even Blanch Graham, do you say, must have aged 
considerably under this responsibility ? Let me illustrate 
what her appearance is, by relating a circumstance that 
actually happened only the week before. It was this: 
She and Walter were walking down the streets of Shar- 
wood when a merchant, standing in his front door, saw 
them coming, and said to a friend who was by his side, 
"Take notice |of this lady who is coming here with 
this gentleman, and when they pass tell me how old 
she is." 

The friend having been put upon his notice, surve3^ed 
her as closely as he politely could, and when they had 
passed replied : 

" Well, she is thirty-six years old." 

"You are just seven years too young," replied the 
merchant; "she will be forty-three next August, and is 
the mother of nine children." 



584 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

"What," exclaimed his friend, " yovi must be mis- 
taken." 

" No, I am not mistaken. I knew her since she was 
a baby, I lived within half a square of where she was 
born and reared." 

Of course, it is not necessary to tell how his friend 
inquired who she was, and all about her ; nor is it 
necessary to add that, notwithstanding her health, 
wealth and well supplied wants, the chief and main 
cause of her well-preserved face and form was domestic 
happiness. 

Neither is it necessarj' to stop to describe the five 
additional children, .so rudd}' and strong^, that have 
come into the family, further than to say their names 
were : Abraham Lincoln Graham, Mary Graham, Sue 
Graham, Ida Graham and Charles Sumner Graham, 
who still kicked up his six-months' -old heels in the 
cradle ; and that Flora, the oldest, you will remember, 
moved about in her eighteenth year, with very much 
the same ease, and grace, and sweetness of mind and 
manner that her mother had when Walter first met her 
in that same old homestead. 

No, there is only time to say now that they were 
only cleverly seated on the old porch, as already men- 
tioned, to enjoy the fresh air and listen to the soft 
breezes, gently sighing through the trees, when the}^ 
observed a stranger at the gate, open it, and walk up 
under the old arbor towards them. 

Who was he? He was a man apparently about 
Walter Graham's own age ; rather shorter, but per- 
haps a little heavier set; with clean-shaven face and 
well clad ; with firm step and penetrating gaze, evi- 
dently a man of business ; a man of affairs. 



THE tAST REUNION. 585 

As he approached the company, and said, "Good 
evening," he responded to Walter's " Good evening " 
with the inquir}- : 

"Do I have the pleasure of speaking to Walter 
Graham ? ' ' 

Walter replied, "You do," giving him at the same 
time a pretty thorough look ; but before he spoke 
further the man said : 

"I guess 5'ou are unable to tell whom you are ad- 
dressing." 

Walter giving him a hearty grasp of the hand ex- 
claimed : 

"Oh, no. I am still able to tell when I am address- 
ing little Jake Hoover." 

And so it was; j'ou remember Jake do j-ou not ? You 
will recall that he was one of the beys about Shock- 
town, about the age of Walter, and Tom, the black- 
smith's son, if you remember rightly ; he enlisted in 
the same company with Tom, and the boys who left in 
1862 ; that he went west immediatel}- after the war ; 
and that Walter had seen him but once after he came 
home, that was the Sunda}^ evening down at the saw- 
mill, before he was admitted to the bar. 

Thus it was Walter was exceedingh- gratified to 
meet him, saying, among other things, "Well, Jake, 
how fortunate you are to have come upon us at this 
hour ; here is our old teacher, Professor Baker." 

" Yes, yes, I was just going to ask, is not this Pro- 
fessor Baker ? ' ' 

All these congratulations were gone through with, 
of course, and Walter proceeded to present him to 
Blanch, who received him with a friendly shake of the 



586 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

hand, and smile, the welcome of which could not be 
mistaken, as she said : 

" I have often heard of ' Little Jake Hoover,' and I 
am exceedingly glad now to meet with President 

Hoover — is it not ? — of the Railroad, one 

of the great lines west of the Missouri ? " 

Jake smiled modestly, saying: 

" Oh, no, not quite so high as that. Superintendent 
will do at present." 

" General Superintendent," introposed Walter, "as 
I will have to help you out with your extreme modesty. ' ' 

"And the Presidency in the future," continued 
Blanch. 

But there is only time now to say, that of course they 
were all quite happy ; that the hour sped away in no 
time ; that it was a sweet little reunion of Profes- 
sor Baker and two of his old pupils. And of course 
they all delved into reminiscences of the past. Jake 
inquiring about all the old friends of his youth, both 
old and young, about Shocktown, saying he had always 
taken a Sharwood paper since he had been west, and 
though he had kept himself comparatively well posted 
as to the local events of his old home, there was, of 
course, a vast amount that he did not know. 

I am onl}' expected to give such parts of the conver- 
sation as related to those people with whose careers you 
are not alreadj- acquainted. 

Jake said in due time: 

" Well, your father is deceased, is he not, Walter? 
I think I read that in the Mercmy .' ' 

" Yes, a little more than a 5'ear." 

' ' Was he feeble in his latter years ? He was not very 
old was he ?" 



THE LAST REUNION. 587 

" Oh, no, he was as hearty a man up to the day of 
his death as he ever had been ; his age was sixty- eight 
when he was killed. He died from an accident, 
you will remember. A heavy piece of scantling fell 
upon him and killed him instantly." 

" Oh, 5^es, I remember now. Well your mother is 
living, is she not?" 

"Yes; and as active as ever. She and Mary are 
going to Oregon this summer by themselves." 

"And she lives with us, too," said Blanch, " except 
when she is with her other children." 

"At all events, I think we may say she is not home- 
less," said Professor Baker. 

" Pat. McKnight says she deserves a good one. He 
was around to see her the other day," said Blanch; 
' ' he assured me she was the best woman that ever 
stood up." 

" What has become of Pat. ? " said Jake; " I believe 
he was going to run for a county office when I was 
home before." 

" Yes, and succeeded, too," said Walter; " he is now 
the proprietor of a green grocery and oyster saloon in 
Sharwood." 

" Saved his money, did he ? " said Jake. 

" Yes, Pat. saved his money and takes a hand occa- 
sionally in ward politics ; he was committee on applause 
the time I was first nominated for Congress." 

"Well, there is Miller's family, what has become of 
them ? L,et me see, Dave married your sister Mary, 
and Joe and George were in my regiment. Joe was 
killed at Spottsylvania, and George was afterwards 
taken prisoner. ' ' 

"Just so," replied Walter; "their father, Elmer 



588 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

Miller, and his wife are still living at Shocktown, 
quite active, being a few of the older generation that 
were in active life when we were boys about there. 

"George, 30U can see, by stopping or going by Omaha 
on your way back to the west ; he is one of the leading 
physicians in the city; he studied medicine after he 
came home from the army; he started to college not 
long after you went to St. Louis. Their sister Beckie 
married a Samuel Dobler, a well-to-do farmer, over in 
Hamilton county." 

" And Jack Matson, and Bill Boyle; how are they 
coming on ? " was Jake's next question. 

"Oh, they are still farming away there on their old 
homesteads." 

"Jack has been in the Legislature two terms; he 
has made a very creditable member ; no scandal or 
suspicion ever attached to his record." 

Of course, Walter omitted to tell Jake that both of 
them, though still farming away on their old home- 
stead farms, had found their lots hard enough ; that 
they belonged to that large number who were strug- 
gling under the heavy mortgages given to pay for 
farms at inflation prices, and that they both would 
have abandoned the fight long ago but for the fact 
that they owed their debts to Blanch Graham instead 
of to someone else ; it was her rule, simply to take the 
interest from them the years they were able to pay it, 
and the years they were not she receipted it up on the 
mortgage all the same. 

Jake, in ignorance of those facts, proceeded to ask, 
" What has beconie-of Long's boj^s, Wilson, or 'Wilse,' 
as we used to call him ; he was not in the arni}^, I 



I 



THE LAST REUNION. 589 

believe ; he was more inclined to be a scholar, was he 
not ? ' ' 

"Yes, Wilse acquired a liberal education," said 
Walter. ' ' He has a professorship in the Highbury 
Normal School." 

" He is principal of it," interposed Professor Baker. 

"Right, right," continued Walter, "he was made 
principal last fall." 

" Sam adhered to his first love — butchering and deal- 
ing in cattle. If you go over to the Harsimus stock 
yard, in Jersc}^ City, when you are in New York, j^ou 
will find him there — the ideal cattle dealer and com- 
mission merchant ; and of as fine a physique as he ever 
was. He weighs about two hundred and twent}' 
pounds, and well proportioned." 

' ' Looks as though he would still be able to suppress 
Slybarr, does he ? " said Professor Baker, with a bland 
smile. 

"I should think so," replied Walter, returning the 
smile, and continuing, "Your father holds his own 
well, Jake, for a man of his years." 

" Yes, he does," replied Jake ; "he shod two horses, 
all 'round, and hooped two carriage wheels, one day 
last week." 

" Yes, I saw that iu the paper," said Blanch. 

"Well, it seems, looking over the whole field," said 
Jake, " that the little old public school at Shocktown, 
and the Professor's academ}', turned out a pretty good 
crop of boys. I suppose you are the only one that 
may be said to have reached great distinction ; but 
then, on the other hand, not one of them ever went to 
jail, did they? " 

" Whj^ Jake! my life has not been anything like the 



590 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

success and example that j'ours has been, when we con- 
sider the advantages I have had, compared with yours." 

" I appeal to our old teacher, right now, if I am not 
correct," said Walter. 

"Jacob's career has certainly been very praise- 
worthy," replied Professor Baker. 

"Well, whatever there is in it," said Jake, "is 
simply the outcome of hard work. I lay no claim to 
genius. In fact, I should never have done anything 
on the railroad if it had not been for my Uncle Sam. 
Blair ; and then, after I did become night despatcher 
of freight, I had to do two men's work for five years — 
there were so many worthless fellows that could never 
be depended upon." 

"Very true," exclaimed Walter and the Professor, 
simultaneously. " I suppose there are none of those 
worthless fellows who are superintendents now." ' 

"No, I don't know that any of them are," replied 
Jake, smiling. " But, returning to our old Shocktown 
schoolmates — whatever became of the Bowers' ?" 

"Well, there is the rub," said Walter. "You 
remarked before that you gues.sed not any of the 
Shocktown scholars ever went to jail. I am not cer- 
tain Vjut what .some of them should have been there ; 
and it bothered High. Bowers at one time extremely to 
keep out of it," he continued in a lower tone. 

"Is that true? How?" 

" Oh, it would be a long story ; enough to sa}^ that 
he even applied to me at one stage of his troubles. I 
advised him to go to another attorney ; but, perhaps, 
I should say nothing about it. as the man is in his 
grave." 

" How long has he been dead ? " 



THE LAST REUNION. 591 

"Some five j-ears or more, I should sa3^" 

' ' What has become of Ben ? ' ' 

" Ben. and his mother moved to Sharwood after the 
'Squire's death ; the 'Squire's estate was not so large 
as had been estimated, and Ben. worked about at dif- 
ferent things, at times, making no very great success 
out of any of them. I believe he is keeping a small 
grocery store now. ' ' 

■ ' What ever became of Maggie Bernard, ' ' was Jake's 
next inquir}'. 

" Not too loud," said Blanch, softly ; " Lizzie is just 
around the corner with the children," and motioning 
to Walter, who did repl}^ softly to Jake : 

" Oh, that is rather a long story too ; and a painful 
one besides. I will give it to you at another time." 

"Excuse me," said Jake apologetically. 

" Oh, certainly," said both Blanch and Walter, " that 
is all right, only we don't want the children to hear." 

" The rest of the Bernard family are well I believe," 
continued Walter. "Uncle Joseph is rather feeble, but 
he is really getting to be among the old people. 
Aunt Harriet has been dead some four j^ears ; 
the two older girls are both married, one living 
in Philadelphia, the other in Shocktown, her husband 
being a member of the firm of which Mart, is now the 
leading member ; he and his wife live in the old home, 
and his father with them." 

" What became of that little darkey, Ben Smith, that 
used to come to the old school ? ' ' 

" He is living in Sharwood, where he works the most 
of his time for me, or, to give the answer more fullj^ 
for Walter ; I may say that he lives in a little, neat one 
and a half story brick house, at the corner of the alley, 



592 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

about three fourths of a square from Walter's own 
house ; that he is employed in taking care of Walter's 
horse, keeping his yard and garden in order, and wait- 
ing on the women generally; that his children go around 
the corner to the same public school that Walter's own 
children do ; that he marches around with the G. A. R. 
on most occasions with his uniform; or, in the language 
of an Irishman, who lives near by, 'A bigger man 
than Graham himself." ' 

And now is just as good a time as any to say that 
Walter generally has one stereotj-ped answer that he 
gives to all importunates to withdraw his children 
from the public schools and send them to some of the 
various .select institutions for small children, as follows: 

" Oh, it is a great pity some children are too good to 
go to the pul)lic schools. I would not exchange the 
part of my experience which I received there for all 
the other schools I ever saw. I had to attend them 
when I was young, and my children may do the same." 

Blanch would generally smile and say, "Well, I do 
think our public schools are the best ; I can't see that 
these children who attend the private schools are learn- 
ing much." 

But the hour has come when they must start for the 
hall. 

While Blanch and the children are getting ready, 
the Professor and Jake walk on. They take a little 
stroll around the borough before going to the lecture, 
during which time the Professor related to Jake the 
history of Maggie Bernard, substantially, as follows : 

"Sometime about the year 1870 she finally married 
High. Bowers, greatly against the protests of her 
parents, as there w^ere, even at that time, some bad 



THK LAST REUNION. 593 

stories about High. The marriage took place, how- 
ever. He took her out to Miuneapolis, under pretext 
of going into business, where he left her in six weeks, 
destitute and triendless. 

" Maggie, who was perhaps a little self-willed, as well 
as proud, refused to ask the charity or forgiveness of her 
friends, even concealing for some time the fact of 
High.'s desertion, from her parents, and secured employ- 
ment as a waiting maid at the hotel when he had left. 

" In due time she became the mother of a son, which 
circumstance added greatly to' the perplexities of her 
situation. Completely crushed and miserable, as she 
then was, she of course fell a victim to the first per- 
son who extended her a kindness or spoke to her a 
sympathetic word. That person, it appears, was the 
bartender at the hotel, a man of no great character, as 
we mays uppose ; and yet with perhaps more innate 
manhood about him than High. Bowers. 

" Six months later she and the bartender were living 
together as man and wife. Some .say they never 
procured a marriage certificate, other reports say they 
did. At all events, these facts became known about 
Shocktown, and, strange to say, her own parents then 
ignored her ; and her own sex were, as a rule, the 
most merciless in their comments. 

"High., who had gone to Wisconsin, next learned 
of these facts, and applied for a divorce in the courts 
of Wisconsin ; and, ofcour.se, soon procured it. 

" The next step in the scene was that High, married 
another woman in that state, and lived with her about 
nine months, when his father died. This left consid- 
erable real estate in this state descending to High, 
and his brother Ben., which High, and his second 



594 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

wife, Barbara, conveyed by deed to his brother about 
three years later. Meanwhile, Maggie's bartender 
husband had died, leaving her a little girl about one 
year old. It was about this stage of the case that 
Blanch, who you know is a first cousin of Maggie's, 
took it upon herself to go to Minneapolis, hunt Mag- 
gie up and proffer kindness and assistance, and full 
forgiveness, if she would apply for a divorce from High. , 
as there were doubts about the legality of his divorce 
from her, and come back and live a pure life. 

" Maggie was, as may be expected, completely over- 
whelmed with Blanch's kindness ; broke down com- 
pletely, and told her that she had barely come in time 
to rescue her from a life of shame and crime ; adding, 
that what she most shrank from was the thought of 
going back to confront her parents while they still 
maintained their present feelings towards her. 

" Blanch told her that they could even relieve her of 
that unpleasantness, the force of which she recognized. 
That Walter could easily make arrangements with some 
of his numerous friends in some distant town, where 
she could procure some honorable employment and be 
removed entirely from her present associations and temp- 
tations. 

" In fact, the idea occurred to her, that her Cousin 
Ida Bolton, in Iowa, would take an interest in her and 
act the good Samaritan. 

" In short, that was what came of it. She and the 
children were sent to Iowa, where the Boltons procured 
for her a clerkship in a store, and kept a friendly super- 
vision over her. 

" Then, in course of time, as is usual in such ca.ses, 
her parents relented ; they invited Maggie home ; she 



THE I.AST REUNION. 595 

came to see them ; staid with her mother through her 
sickness and death. 

"Then, Maggie, who seemed to be a sweeter and 
more humiHated woman than I had ever seen her, took 
a notion to be self-sustaining ; so she went and had 
herself examined under the civil service rules for a 
clerkship in one of the departments at Washington ; 
and with the high rating with which she passed the 
examination, and with Walter's assistance, she soon 
secured a position. And that is where she now is. 
Her children are at their grandfather's and he has 
really become very much attached to them. That 
little girl they called Lizzie, there on the porch, is her 
daughter by her bar-tender husband ; and Maggie, her- 
self, I believe now is an humble and reformed woman." 

Jake listened attentively all through the Profes- 
sor's story, and then remarked, "Well! w'ell! is that 
Maggie Bernard's history ? " 

' ' Yes, ' ' said the Professor, ' ' that is about the sub- 
stance of her history ; with the exception of the legal 
side to it, which is sometimes amusing, as affording an 
illustration of how, through all these tribulations and 
trials, justice so frequently keeps a secret w^atch upon 
her own, and gets to the proper place in some mysteri- 
ous way. 

"At that stage of the case, when Maggie went to 
the Boltons, in Iowa, she did not procure a divorce on 
her own motion, as Blanch had persuaded her to do, 
for although she had actually applied for it, while the 
proceedings were pending, the word come of High's 
death ; then her attorney just stopped and told her to 
claim her right of dower in High's real estate here as 
his lawful widow. Maggie was averse to doing this. 



590 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

but her lawyer could not resist the temptation to go on 

"So the matter was submitted to Walter, who, after 
ascertaining that High.'s second wife was dead, and 
that no innocent victim would suffer b}' the contest, 
(the land here, you will remember, he had sold to Ben) 
and if his title was affected by the matter, Walter 
considered that it would only be justice getting to 
the right place ; and said if the lawyers who have it in 
charge wish to make a test case of it, let them fight it 
to the end. So, accordingly, proceedings were com- 
menced here for her interest in the real estate that Ben. 
had thus purchased from High., claiming that Maggie 
was his lawful widow at the time of his death." 

" Well, but how could that be ? " said Jake; " High, 
had a legal divorce, had he not, from her?" 

" That was one of the points in the case," continued 
the Professor. " They rested on that and then upon the 
fact that Maggie's own conduct was a forfeiture of all 
her marital rights ; so to state the matter as well a-s I 
understand it, (though Walter can explain it much 
better,) it was carried through all the successive steps 
of litigation, up to the Supreme Court of this vState, 
where it was finally decided in Maggie's favor. 

" True, the case was a leading one. as the lawyers 
term it, presenting many new and novel features ; but 
the opinion of the Supreme Judge was, first, that 
High.'s divorce in Wiscon.sin had no binding effect on 
her, as she had never followed him there as his wife, 
High, having deserted her ; and in reference to her 
own culpable conduct, the Judge said : 

"'He left her, according to the evidence, clandes- 
tinely, and on the false pretense that he was going to 
meet a friend on a business engagement ; he never even 



THK I.AST REUNION. 597 

requested her to go with him to Wisconsin. His own 
crime of unfaithfulness to his marriage vows exposed 
her to temptation. He left her without means, in a 
strange city, to the cold mercies of the world ; that she 
fell was no more her fault than his. And thus it 
was that Maggie got a dower interest of some ^3,000 in 
High.'s estate.' " 

And this ends the last circumstance founded on 
actual fact that I will weave into this book. 

" Well, it really is a remarkable case, is it not? " said 
Jake, after a moment's pause. 

' ' It reall}^ is, ' ' replied the Professor. 

They proceeded a few rods in silence, when Jake 
said, "I'll venture that many were the times she 
regretted that she ever turned her lips up so contemp- 
tuously at Walt. Graham on that old school ground." 

The Professor smiled, and they both passed into the 
hall, as they were already a little late. 

After the exercises were over the Professor and 
Jake, Wendell and Ida, Will, and Emma, all walked 
back with Walter and Blanch and the children to the 
old home, where another hour was spent in such social 
blisi as needs no description. You know all these 
parties now sufficiently well, the relations they bear 
to each other, the congeniality of their spirits, to per- 
ceive what that hour was like better than pen can tell. 

I must, however, give you a little of the conversation 
-which took place between Jake and the Professor, after 
they retired to the large front room where they each 
had a bed to himself looking out at the open window. 

"I wonder," said Jake "if it will ever happen that 
Walter Graham will be President of the United States ?" 

"That question," replied the Professor, "is very 



598 WAI^TER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

problematic, and attended with a great many contingen- 
cies ; but it must be said it is not beyond the bounds of 
possibility. 

" He stands to-day, in many respects, upon that plane 
from which Presidents are taken ; his high standing as 
a member of the popular branch of Congress, at least 
that more than average standing which he occupies in 
it, acquired both by his ability and continvious ser- 
vices ; the general favor with which his party has 
received his last argument on the question of protec- 
tion!; his age, his personal popularity, are all circum- 
stances which might some daj^ drift him into that chan- 
nel which flows into the White House. 

"But, on the other hand, sometimes I think I see 
things which are in the way ; chief among them may 
be Walter's own cast of mind. 

"It may be, after all, he is not quite politic enough; the 
tendency to individual freedom of opinion may increase 
on him as he ages. I doubt if even now he would 
make the exertion to be nominated for Congress that 
he did the first time he was nominated. Not, under- 
stand me, that I think the man who becomes entirely 
the politician is likely to become President; but" that 
even statesmen must be prudent at times, is the idea, if 
they expect to reach that eminence. 

"There is an old saying that the ideas and habits that 
one acquires when he is a child are very apt to be the 
ones which will reappear in him some time, no differ- 
ence how much he may have been changed. 

' ' Walter contracted an independence of thought in 
his childhood, both from his parents and his tutelage 
under our old friend, John Williamson, which, while 
it is all very creditable to him, and calculated to 



THE LAST REUNION. 599 

make him a very good man, it may be doubted 
whether it is calculated to make presidents. In fact, it 
was onl}^ the other day I heard a practical politician 
talking of this very question, who said, " Oh, Graham 
is all right, and sticks to his party and all that, 
but he's too full of these visionary theories ; he's 
always reading such books as Adam Smith's " Wealth 
of Nations," and who's that other crank? — Henry 
George's " Progress and Poverty." The North Ameri- 
can Revieiv is his favorite magazine ; or, if he stays 
over Sunday in New York, he goes to hear Beecher, or 
Collyer, or Talmage, preach. Such things are all well 
enough in their wa\', and it is all right for people to 
investigate whatever they wish, but if a man is going 
to be a practical politician he must not let his head 
get too full of such stuff." 

" Now, I suppose that man was a fair representative 
of a very large element that has to be consulted when 
we go to make a president." Jake listened attentively 
to the professor's disquisition, and after a slight pause 
replied : 

"Yes, these things are a very great lottery; but, my, 
wouldn't Mrs. Graham make a model L,ady of the 
White House !" 

" Beyond question she would," replied the Professor. 
" It is almost another element of strength in his case." 

And now, my friends, as I draw this narrative to a 
close, in this year of grace, one thousand eight hun- 
dred and ninety-one, all the rest must be left to conjec- 
ture. 

Even if I should be tempted to draw closer to the 
hour, prudence would forbid it. 

"Act in the I^iving Present " may be a very good 



600 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

maxim for some people engaged in the material things 
of this world, but I incline to the opinion that there 
are two classes of men and women who should fight a 
little shy of it, namely, the historian and the romancer. 
Not that either of them should hesitate through fear, 
but through respect for the truth — a quality best recog- 
nized in history through the medium of a little time. 

He who lays pen to paper simultaneously with the 
event, is always in danger of being unconsciously influ- 
enced by the feelings which surround him. 

And now, as we leave Walter Graham retiring, this 
lovely May evening of 1887, in the old Mansdale man- 
sion, surrounded by friends and family, with Blanch 
resting on his shoulder, as they look out on the beau- 
tiful night, reclining on the satue old window sill from 
which she had prayed for Harry and dreamed of Wal- 
ter, twenty-three 3-ears before ; as they gaze upon the 
same sk\^ and hear the low rustling of the leaves on 
the same old trees, at the close of this day on which 
the nation's funeral services have just been held over 
half a million graves, their ears still ringing with the 
patriotic requiems just sung to the memor}- of the 
honored dead ; with hearts full of gratitude and 
thoughts of tenderness to all mankind ; as they look 
out upon the same great universe of love, while the 
same stars and the never- failing dew drops keep their 
eternal vigil over all, he is presented for your contem- 
plation. 

In the vision of your imagination 3'ou may finish 
his course as you please. 

You may foresee that his trip to Europe this j'ear has 
been postponed ; that later in the summer he will take 
another trip across the continent, returning in the 



THE LAST REUNION. 601 

pleasant fall by the southern route. He may stop on 
that sojourn to gaze once more on the field of Shiloh. 
or to see how the ramparts at Vicksburg have with- 
stood the hand of time ; he may lead Blanch over the 
field of the Wilderness, in search of the ravine where 
Harry fell, or in quest of that spot at Cold Har- 
bor which her feet have longed to touch. But the 
ground all looks so different now; he cannot come 
within three hundred yards of locating either place. 
Or, you may think it sufficiently clever that he will be 
a delegate in the Chicago convention of 1888, which 
nominated Harrison ; or, in your mind's eye, you may 
see the delegates of his own state at the convention 
which assembles in Omaha in the year 1900, bearing 
upon their banners the inscription, " For President, 
Walter Graham." But the convention adjourns, and 
the delegates return home with another name where 
his had been written. 

The tendency of his mind to advance a little faster 
than his organization ma}' have been the cause of the 
failure, or some one of the other many causes which 
turn the beam at the critical moment ; though his hon- 
esty has never been questioned, and his ability is admit- 
ted, you may have to concede that he has read " Look 
ing Backward" with the care of a student, and that he 
has introduced "Edward Bellamy" to a public audience. 
That, while he may say with perfect truth he regards 
the most of his theories as unpractical, he is known too 
well to belong to that school which holds there is no 
subject too sacred, for investigation. 

Though he is not* yet ready to proclaim as a 
public principle that the government should operate 
the railroads and telegraphs, the public perceive that 



602 WALTER GRAHAM, STATESMAN. 

his face is turned in that direction. In short, you 
ma}' see him go down to his grave without becom- 
ing President, simply because the National party is not 
3'et fully ripe. 

You may .see Blanch looking caraplacently on 
through these years, watching close!}- the gradual 
transition of thought in her husband's mind, proud to 
believe that with the passing time she sees the politi- 
cian sinking and the statesman rising. Notwithstand- 
ing even .she may have experienced the day when the 
words "lady of the White house" lingered for a 
moment on her mind, as .she took the hand of the 
beautiful and accomplished young wife of President 
Cleveland, or looked into the motherly face of Mrs. 
Harrison, there never was a moment when she would 
have, said, "Conscience, be still, that I may have that 
title." 

High as she would have esteemed the honor, that 
her children and future generations might read upon 
the stone that marks her husband's grave, " President 
of the United States," — she is infinitely prouder to feel 
that it could truthfully bear the inscription, " Walter 
Graham , Statesman. ' ' 



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